to ask what was the most annoying book you have ever ploughed through?

(727 Posts)
pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:22:56

I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry for bookclub and I'm a fifth of the way through and hating it. It is just striking me as very cutesy and mimsy wimsy and I have eyerolled so many times in the past 100 pages. (Children, in 2010, in London, happily playing croquet - really? Oh and then there's a ghost. And some creepy twins! Great.)

It wouldn't be so bad, but the fecking thing is 500 pages long.

I know it's a matter of taste as the author's books are massive bestsellers. And I may be being unfair as I seem to just really dislike magical realism in general. And I am open to reading all kinds of different books (last one A Game of Thrones, before that The Kite Runner), and anyway, half the point of a bookclub is to read things you wouldn't pick for yourself. But but. The salesperson at Waterstones even went on about how great it was when I was buying it, ffs! Waaah, boo, disappointment, 500 pages of life wasted etc.

Anyway, I definitely will finish it as it's only fair to give it a real chance, and I will try not to BU and judge so quickly, but I have to ask - what books have you made yourself finish, bookclub or no, that you've hated?

SirChenjin Sun 02-Feb-14 13:25:26

Anything by Jodi Picoult. I've tried to get past about page 20 on a few on her books - nope, they're all shite. Poorly written, cod-psychologist tripe.

The slap, hated it.

desertmum Sun 02-Feb-14 13:27:19

EAT, LOVE, PRAY - I wanted to slap her, couldn't finish the book and gave it away (I never, ever part with books - they are family). What an annoying, whiney woman she was. And while I know IABU I was soooo disappointed that Julia Roberts agreed to play her in the movie

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:28:26

Oh god desertmum the film was shiiiit. I went to see it (reluctantly) in the cinema, so I was trapped and couldn't even leave. At least I had ice-cream?

SamU2 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:29:06

The Slap.

I liked Her Fearful Symmetry.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 13:29:58

oh god i hated that one that won a prize
hold on
the woman upstairs

what a PILE O CACK

NynaevesSister Sun 02-Feb-14 13:30:04

I no longer feel obliged to keep reading books I loathe.

However I did plough on with Capt Morelli's Mandolin which was simply infuriating. There were a few good bits in there but it was like he got a bit confused a few chapters in and just thought wtf I need to finish this.

Ugh. Still annoys me.

NynaevesSister Sun 02-Feb-14 13:30:17


The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared. I hate leaving books unfinished but really couldn't understand what everyone raved about. Dull, dull, dull.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 13:30:43

and most htings Oprah recommends these days - incl a fort of nine towers

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:31:02

What made it so shit Dr Nick?

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 13:31:51

The Famished Road by Ben Okri.
The Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
Love in the Time of Cholera by whatsisface.

Strokethefurrywall Sun 02-Feb-14 13:31:54

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I waded through that entire book to find that the first 60 pages were totally irrelevant.

Massively disappointed. Was expecting a much better twist.

Oh, I really disliked Her Fearful Symmetry. Be warned, the storyline goes bonkers to an extent my suspension of disbelief was entirely unable to keep pace with. I tried to get my cousin to read it, just so we could slag it off together, but she couldn't be persuaded to persevere with it.

I also hated Catch 22, which I ploughed my way through because it's a classic, innit, and because my boyfriend at the time had bought it for me. I had to yell "You've made your point, already!" at it several times.

Showy Sun 02-Feb-14 13:31:58

I'm reading Pillars Of The Fooking Earth.

Oh God it's tedious.

Today my wife has died in childbirth and I've abandoned my newborn baby but as the other dc are asleep, malnourished and exhausted, I'm just going to shag this here strange woman I met in the forest. Oh I think I love her, I'm going to marry her. What was that? My dead wife and abandoned baby? Yeah, I sort of remember them. Yesterday wasn't it?

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 02-Feb-14 13:32:55

I agree with you re Her Fearful Symmetry.

Loved The Time Travellers Wife but god that book was so annoying!

jerseygal78 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:33:14

Wild swans - borefest!

Isthiscorrect Sun 02-Feb-14 13:33:47

Omg. So many, Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd, a relentless pile of shite. The Finkler question, nobody in book club finished it, and I always suggest people don't read it if they pick it up in the library I work in ;-) I'd hate for them to waste their time.

PervyMuskrat Sun 02-Feb-14 13:34:05

Cliche, but Da Vinci code was truly terrible.

I was really disappointed in Her Fearful Symmetry, especially as I loved The Timetravellers Wife

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 13:34:14

pandarifit - the messud one
just nothing happens

endless WORDS that serve no purpose
even the denouement was a MEH moment

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 02-Feb-14 13:34:36

Thumb all of Kate Mosse's books are crap. I've somehow read all three of the Langduoc books.

A mistake every, single time.

emptychair Sun 02-Feb-14 13:35:21

50 shades. I just wanted to slap her and tell her to get a grip. So badly written.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 13:36:00

i htink * he* had hte grip wink

agree - shit
also the thread by hislop


muppetthecow Sun 02-Feb-14 13:36:42

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. Dear God it was hard going; very little in the way of plot, a whiny protagonist, and written in 1st person present tense narrative!

DSis had bought it for me though so I felt like I had to finish it...

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:37:34

Oh my god, The Finkler question! I bought it thinking the booker committee wouldn't steer me too far wrong... Within the first 20 pages I was irritated, confused, and felt duped. Duped! Neurotic ridiculous posturing for 200+ pages anyone? I gave up.

Thank god that one wasn't for a bookclub. :P

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 13:39:14

Alis, you must be a sucker for punishment to keep trying, eh? wink
I didn't bother with her after Labyrinth.

DarrenFox Sun 02-Feb-14 13:39:23

A Prayer For Owen Meany


I think it put me off reading.

Loathsome self indulgent weird pointless twaddle. I would rather read Take A Break.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 13:40:36

Oh I'll add the "hilarious" A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - bleh.

HungryHorace Sun 02-Feb-14 13:41:47

Pamela - a middle aged, male, author's take on being a teenage girl. Christ, it was awful. I don't care that it's a 'classic', it's shit!

And I agree with the PPs who said The Slap. I'm not sure any of them were likeable.

badbelinda Sun 02-Feb-14 13:41:59

American Psycho - felt obliged to finish it as lots of people rave about it and I kept thinking it would come to some sort of point but it was just utterly vile throughout. I'm not into book burning (or even passing any books on the jumble sales as evidenced by our groaning bookshelves) but felt the need to destroy this one as would hate anyone else to read it and be stuck with those images in their brain as well.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:42:25

DarrenFox - Ohh that John Irving one! I read A Widow For a Year, which was odd, but not unpleasant, so then I tried to read The World According to Garp, and then I realised just how bizarre John Irving is. It's like he has three obsessions: 'older wimmin' 'young narrators who are Writers and therefore fascinating' and 'awkward sex' and just recycles them endlessly. Never again!

The Mill On The Floss. Even 14 years post a-level, that bloody irritating Maggie makes my teeth itch! And I had to read it several times as had an exam on it too...ugh.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 13:42:43

Oh oh - AND Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Actually I gave up with that one - I honestly couldn't cope with being given multiple examples of each point he was making, I was just thinking "OK, I've got it already, fucking move on!!" One or 2 examples only, man - not 3 or 4. For every fucking point.

meganorks Sun 02-Feb-14 13:42:51

Confessions of a shopaholic. Swapped it when travelling and owner warned me it was shit. Obviously I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece but protagonist gave me the rage. Compulsive liar runs up massive amounts of debt buying pointless shit but its all OK because she lies her way to a millionaire boyfriend. Good one.

maparole Sun 02-Feb-14 13:43:07

Any of Dan Brown's utter tripe makes me incandescent that anyone could not only get away with it but make millions from it; I reckon I was writing better stuff than this by the age of about 11.

Other than that, most of the ones already mentioned I have enjoyed wink

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 02-Feb-14 13:43:12

Thumb I think I really wanted at least one to be good because I find the period of history interesting. So disappointing sad grin

Sillybillybob Sun 02-Feb-14 13:43:59

I like Her Fearful Symmetry <ducks>

The Magus was the biggest load of tosh I've ever had the misfortune to have to plow through (thank you ever so much A- level English Lit teacher...)

Quangle Sun 02-Feb-14 13:44:37

Agree on A Prayer for Owen Meany. Hated it. Deeply irritating.

StackOfFuckers Sun 02-Feb-14 13:45:13

None's said One Day?!?

Pile o shite

I also hated American Psycho. Gratuitous.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 13:46:03

Meganorks - YES! Totally agree! I loathed the "heroine" of the Shopaholics books may have read 2 to see if they improved - they didn't

Alis - I can understand that. smile

SamU2 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:46:07

The Lemon Cake book was another crap one.
The 100 year old man that climbed through the window- awful

I have a rule, if I don't like it after 100 pages I will put it away, life is too short to read crap books. However, for some reason I did stick with The Slap.

SamU2 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:46:34

American Gods.

I was so excited to read it as well.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 13:46:42

agree tractors not funnny
I cant get into meaney - should i not bother?

PipkinsPal Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:16

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle. Tedious. No chapters, the drivel went on and on and on. I gave up.

ManifestoMT Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:23

The slap


Loved the time travellers wife
Loved the dragon tattoo read the whole series

We al went to the cinemas to see the original film and came out thinking we could understand Swedish

K999 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:24

The Argos Catalogue.......I thought I'd never get to the end grin

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:25

badbelinda - I've not read it, but have read The Rules of Attraction which I thought was pretty lukewarm. The author's a right arse IMO. Did you see when he threw his toys out of the pram this year when a writer he thought was 'overrated' won the Nobel Prize? Have some grace, man!

Will never forget the torture of Madam Flaubert at school. If any of my 4 dc have it, they're on their own.

LadyFlumpalot Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:45

There's Something About Kevin.

Felt I ought to persevere with it, got to page 30 something, gave it to a friend.

Follyfoot Sun 02-Feb-14 13:48:53

White teeth. I know it was award winning and all that, but I just didnt care enough about any of the characters so packed it in about a third of the way through Did I miss anything?

whippetwoman Sun 02-Feb-14 13:49:51

How Late it Was, How Late.

Just don't. Not ever. Words cannot describe....I cannot articulate my annoyance with it.

Oh and I hated The Finkler Question too. Waste of my life.

ManifestoMT Sun 02-Feb-14 13:50:01

Oh I loved paddy Doyle
I think it helped to have read all the other books though

yourlittlesecret Sun 02-Feb-14 13:50:37

Oh yes to The Mill On The Floss.
I am no longer at school though. Books are not homework. I do not have to finish a book if I am not enjoying it.
I do try to give up sooner rather than later although I have been known to give up when more than half way through.
There are those, that others rave about, that I wish I hadn't bothered with though.
Gone Girl.
The 100 year old man etc.
The boy in the striped Pajamas.
The Road.

CheeseStrawWars Sun 02-Feb-14 13:52:02

Cloud Atlas. Teeeeeeeeeeeeeedious.

MothratheMighty Sun 02-Feb-14 13:52:31

I don't finish books I dislike, so it would have to be some of the fiction I had to read as part of my degree. George Eliot and Hardy.
The dislike is a personal thing, I have friends who loved everything GE ever wrote.

MrsHappyBee Sun 02-Feb-14 13:53:45

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope is the most recent awful book I've read. I thought she was supposed to give it a 21st century makeover but she rigidly stuck to the story and it was nonsense.

StuntNun Sun 02-Feb-14 13:54:42

The Lord of the Rings. My DH raves about it -and has read it ten zillion times but the sentences go on forever and The Two Towers is downright dull.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:55:18

Aww, I loved Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. Roddy Doyle's books can be tough to read with the no quotation marks and the no chapters - takes a while to get into each. Bit like Irvine Welsh maybe?

Quangle Sun 02-Feb-14 13:55:25

grin at showy

Had my suspicions about the Finkler Question - that it might be an exploration of middle aged male neuroses and some sex - like those "great American novel" snorathons. Will give that a miss.

gordyslovesheep Sun 02-Feb-14 13:55:30

Wolf Hall - just couldn't get past half way at both attempts. It's an ear I know a lot about and I was looking forward to it - got it was dull

gordyslovesheep Sun 02-Feb-14 13:55:48

era ffs not ear!

dontcallmemam Sun 02-Feb-14 13:55:55

Eat, Pray Love. I wanted the protagonist to die.
Chesil beach; dull, dull, dull.

HesterShaw Sun 02-Feb-14 13:56:29

To The fucking Lighthouse.

What a load of shit!

PuzzleRocks Sun 02-Feb-14 13:56:42

The Celestine Prophecy. Badly written and dull. Shame.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 13:57:27

I don't finish books I dislike in general by the way - but for discussion at a book club I feel I should give them a fair shout, so will at least try to finish them.

SelectAUserName Sun 02-Feb-14 13:58:29

Thumbwitch I couldn't even finish Love in the Time of Cholera. It was the second book I didn't finish.

The first book I couldn't finish was Rachel Cusk - The Temporary. Dear God, but it was dire! I threw it across the room in a rage at how such shit ever got published. The only positive thing I can say about it is that it taught me that life is too short to finish bad books.

Prior to that I had struggled through some bilge; I think the worst was some chicklit thing by Wendy Holden which was sub-sub-sub-Jilly Cooper and was just bad pun after bad pun after bad pun, plus an even more predictable plot than usual (I can remember thinking on about page 25 "oh, the woman the heroine thinks is the love interest's OW is going to turn out to be his sister" and hey presto, 200 pages later the big denouement was that they were brother and sister).

Also a thriller by somebody Kernick - think the book was called Relentless, or something like that - which was implausible, badly-plotted, had no consistent characterisation and was, in a nutshell, shite. I am still genuinely amazed every time I go into W H Smiths and see a new Kernick novel; I can only hope he improved with practice.

Pawprint Sun 02-Feb-14 13:58:47

Brick Lane
The Road Less Travelled
Any of Jilly Cooper's bonk busters
Anything by Jodi Picault (sp?)

rookiemater Sun 02-Feb-14 13:59:04

Oh yes I managed all of Wolf Hall - I'm still waiting for my medal.

Never got past Chapter one on The Time Traveller's wife, or Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Lyonesse Sun 02-Feb-14 13:59:47

Angela's Ashes. Just because you have lived an 'interesting' (ha) life, doesn't mean you should write a book about it.

White Nights by Dostoevsky. Most annoying narrator I have ever encountered. I wanted them all to jump in the Neva and be done with it.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Managed the astonishing feat of being both repulsive and astoundingly boring at the same time.

Also fond (whispers) Wolf Hall very annoying. Which was a pity as I thought I'd like it.

dontcallmemam Sun 02-Feb-14 13:59:56

Pawprint I loved Brick Lane, and the N something one.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 14:00:38

i cannot read chick lit
i hate it

rookiemater Sun 02-Feb-14 14:01:45

Oh and Parade's End - managed about a third as I quite enjoyed the TV series, lent it to my father for a year, now got it back and it is looking at me in the living room - I might suggest it for Book Club as penance for teh fact I have only just been allowed to join.

Oh and most Jodi Picoult books I get about 1/3 in before I realise I have read it before - slightly overweight frazzled mother - check, handsome husband with dubious past history - check, heart-wringing melodrama involving child - check leading to court case finale. I could just write them myself and save her the bother - although I believe she has already roped in her daughter to make it a family effort.

Kettricken Sun 02-Feb-14 14:03:42

The Princess Bride. I just don't get it.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 14:04:45

Select - I read it twice, to try and understand it better. Didn't work - it was twaddle both times.

Another book I read twice in an effort to like it was Georgette Heyer's Penhallow. I love GH, have her entire collection - but Penhallow is relentlessly appalling. Not a single sympathetic character in it, and it notably lacks her usual humorous touch. Years after reading it, I found out the she wrote it in a strop because the publisher wouldn't let her out of her contract - so she deliberately (apparently) wrote a bad book so they'd let her go.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 14:05:34

Just thought of another - The Stranger's Child was both awful AND pointless. Oh and looong, too. Not one person in a 25 strong group finished it. It literally had no point. Meandering crap without plot that went nowhere.

RabbitRabbit78 Sun 02-Feb-14 14:06:13

I thought Her Fearful Symmetry when I read the title, before I got to the OP... If you think it's bad now just wait til the ending. rolls around on floor in annoyance

SirChenjin Sun 02-Feb-14 14:06:26

Oh yes - Parades End. I tried, and tried, and tried - but it was probably one of the dullest, most protracted books I've ever had the misfortune to read.

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 14:07:01

The Alchemist. Not the 17th century play by Ben Jonson - that was great. I mean the turgid pile of wank by Paulo Coelho. God I am still CROSS that I read so much of it - almost all of it - waiting for it to make sense and achieve some kind of content. Loads of people had recommended it and said it was really meaningful! It was pretentious twaddle and SO BORING.

ILoveFrogs Sun 02-Feb-14 14:07:50

The Runaway - Martina Cole

Now this is a brilliant book, complete page turner, kept me gripped yadda yadda UNTIL I got to the end and found out what happened to Joanna, it was just so annoying.... She had such a hard life, been through so much and then the book ended on such a bum note. I know in life sometimes there are no happy endings and this book reflects that, but it was just so brutal and unnecessary I thought. It ruined the book for me and left me very annoyed.

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 14:08:10

Oh god Chesil Beach. Embarrassing.

Sweetart Sun 02-Feb-14 14:08:26

I ploughed through a whole 7 pages of The DaVinci Code...

tumbletumble Sun 02-Feb-14 14:08:36

Another vote for A Prayer for Owen Meany.

LadySnapcase Sun 02-Feb-14 14:09:00

Ash by James Herbert. Used to really like him, but this one was just appallingly written. Ploughed through because I wanted to see if the end was worth it, but it really wasn't.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 14:09:45

Oh god, really, RabbitRabbit78? :/

I'm about to take myself off to a coffee shop for some cake so I can at least mitigate the pain while I read the fecking thing...

Dawndonnaagain Sun 02-Feb-14 14:09:57

Loved Her Fearful Symmetry, Love anything by Fowles.
Hated The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Agree that Dan Brown not worth picking up, nor Jilly Cooper.

ILoveFrogs Sun 02-Feb-14 14:10:16

I've completely missed the point of the thread lol, I didn't hate the book, just the end. blush

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Sun 02-Feb-14 14:11:54

I hated The Slap - what was the point? I didn't like any of them.

A Suitable Boy - 600 pages of nothing, only to discover you have to read another two volumes.

A History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

I had to read Frankenstein for A Level and hated it. I had been really excited about reading it, and just thought it was awful. Closed Book exam so I had to remember loads of quotes as well.

Atonement and Saturday by Ian McEwan. I was really disappointed by them, I had been really looking forward to reading them.

Rabbit speaks the truth. sad

Just try not to hit anyone in the coffee shop when you inevitably hurl the book across the room.

This thread has reminded me of so many crap books! Shopaholic, Chesil Beach, One Day, 50 Shades, etc. I can't technically have any of those because I didn't manage to finish them. Well, I might have finished One Day, but I genuinely can't remember, it made that much of an impression on me.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Feb-14 14:13:36

I've just been reading the reviews of "Her Fearful Symmetry" on Goodreads - quite funny, some of them! grin

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Sun 02-Feb-14 14:13:40

Yy to Labrynth snore
Da Vinci code. Actually didn't, threw it across room.
When I was 16 Emma. I now realise what an idiot I was.

ithaka Sun 02-Feb-14 14:14:13

When God Was a Rabbit - by some talentless numpty whose name I have forgotten. It was chic lit drivel, but dressed itself up as a quality read. I read it for my book club & we concluded the author must have had a fantastic publicist to get such sub par nonsense onto book club reading lists.

stardusty5 Sun 02-Feb-14 14:16:05

Then We Came To The End was the book i left til the end of my holiday once and i hated it.

I agree with Labyrinth by Kate Mosse- i really WANT to like it but i couldn't get into it.

Enjoyed Susan Hill's first Serrailer book, but the second one did get a bit annoying. Fantastically virtuous characters gathered round the aga playing with the cat with a posh name. I was disappointed.

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 14:17:21

the seraillier books are a bit light

obv Hill thinks she is the plucky doctor, doesnt she? So smug

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 02-Feb-14 14:18:14

<sticks head over parapet>

I started Captain Corelli's Mandolin twice, and both times gave up about page 100. But then I ran out of books while on holiday abroad, and in desperation gave it another bash - and discovered that around page 110 the whole thing suddenly takes off and starts to work properly! And all the boring and irritating bits about the first few chapters do turn out to matter after all.

<ducks back under>

desertmum Sun 02-Feb-14 14:19:11

Hester - I so agree! DD had it for A level English Lit - was truly awful. Long, long sentences with no apparent meaning. Terrible book!

sooperdooper Sun 02-Feb-14 14:19:31

Gone Girl, I kept going because I'd read there was a twist so I figured it better be good, god I was disappointed, it was ridiculous!

50 Shades would go into this pile too, but I never actually finished it, had to give up before I hit someone over the head with it!!

SockQueen Sun 02-Feb-14 14:22:47

I forced myself through 3 out of the 4 Twi-shite books, and all of the Fifty Shades trilogy (which are basically the same thing). As I was reading them I kept getting angry at just how bleeding awful they all were, but I hate leaving books unfinished, so I just had to plough on through.

GlassOfPort Sun 02-Feb-14 14:23:07

I actually loved in the Time of Cholera...definitely disliked The Mill on the Floss, but the prize for the most boring and overblown piece of melodrama has to go to The Drowning People by Richard Mason. It was so over the top and formulaic...Dev mourning Sunita looked subtle and restrained in comparison

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 14:23:23

Pity this thread isnt in books really

where it might serve as a WARNING

JabberJabberJay Sun 02-Feb-14 14:23:52

Hated The Slap. Every single character in it was awful.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out... was really really dull. Don't understand why everyone raved about it.

desertmum Sun 02-Feb-14 14:25:28

I loved Brick Lane ! All the colours and stuff - awesome! But god, the fifty shades of crap ? Really ? that was truly awful :-( and it got more awful when people I knew obviously thought they were being a bit 'naughty' by reading it (I am old btw!). You can read better porn in Playboy magazine! (allegedly)

Hassled Sun 02-Feb-14 14:28:49

That bloody Death Comes to Pemberley bollocks. Jane Austen would weep.

NearTheWindmill Sun 02-Feb-14 14:31:07

Midnight's Children. I still don't understand it. Often think I should read it again to try and get my head round it but I just can't summon up the enthusiasm. There was a Sebastian Faulks one too which was written around the letters of the alphabet - I couldn't really get that either.

skrumle Sun 02-Feb-14 14:32:24

i didn't finish it but it felt like ploughing... The Hare With The Amber Eyes - was for book club and truly horrific. Think it's the only one we've done where nobody liked it.

TinyPawz Sun 02-Feb-14 14:32:33

Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris inclding books, street fashion and jewelery by Leanne Shapton

It was painful

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 14:33:24

Ooh, ooh, another one! The Book Thief. Gave up 30 pages in, was written in a very cutsey way, put me right off. (Especially considering the setting.)

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 14:33:35

was the hare the one about the tiny ornaments and Vienna in the 40s?

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Sun 02-Feb-14 14:36:56

Agree with The Slap being truly awful.

Absolutely hated Gone Girl. Didn't finish it!

Sillybillybob Sun 02-Feb-14 14:36:56

Oh I LOVE Midnight's Children.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 02-Feb-14 14:39:42

Cloud Atlas. There have to be more than two of us that hate it, surely?

carlajean Sun 02-Feb-14 14:42:00

Shadow of the Wind. I find myself saying 'really?' When someone says they like it.
Also Sisters by R Lipton, Jodi Picault, Marquez, V Hislop, Kate Moss ( I wonder how those two got published hmm)
But (drumroll) the very very worst book i've read was The Casual Vacancy. Utter shite IMO

milkwasabadchoice Sun 02-Feb-14 14:42:29

The Book Thief - the worst book ever

The Slap - the other worst book ever

Me too FetchezLaVache; I hated Catch 22.

alisvolatpropiis there are 3?! Jeepers. I thought Labyrinth was enough, frankly shock

I was forced, by an avid colleague, to read and discuss all of the vapid, senseless, utterly appalling Twilight series (I was making an effort to fit in). I can't unread them, my soul is scarred now. Should I ever have a daughter she will be expressly forbidden from venturing forth with Bella Fucking Swan and her neutered monsters angry.

Likewise Dan Brown, proof if such were needed that airport book shops can sell almost anything to long haul travellers in need of sleep and distraction.

I loved Far from the Madding Crowd and thought I would try Tess out. Relentlessly depressing, awfulness. Just misery.

Speaking of misery, I really dislike misery- lit. I read to be transported, distracted and informed. I really don't want to read about people burning children with cigarettes, beating and abusing them. Frank McCourt was the start of it with Angela's Ashes and is not to be forgiven. I know he's from Limerick but even that is no excuse.

Still, I used to consume huge numbers of books but now, since having DS I have to be much more choosy. Hopefully the quality should improve.

carlajean Sun 02-Feb-14 14:42:50

Mosse not Moss

Crowler Sun 02-Feb-14 14:43:24

Cloud Atlas. I hated it.

Swann's Way.

carlajean Sun 02-Feb-14 14:43:55

Shadow of the Wind. I find myself saying 'really?' When someone says they like it.
Also Sisters by R Lipton, Jodi Picault, Marquez, V Hislop, Kate Moss ( I wonder how those two got published hmm)
But (drumroll) the very very worst book i've read was The Casual Vacancy. Utter shite IMO

carlajean Sun 02-Feb-14 14:43:56

Shadow of the Wind. I find myself saying 'really?' When someone says they like it.
Also Sisters by R Lipton, Jodi Picault, Marquez, V Hislop, Kate Moss ( I wonder how those two got published hmm)
But (drumroll) the very very worst book i've read was The Casual Vacancy. Utter shite IMO

Thumbwitch "Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Actually I gave up with that one - I honestly couldn't cope with being given multiple examples of each point he was making, I was just thinking "OK, I've got it already, fucking move on!!" One or 2 examples only, man - not 3 or 4. For every fucking point."

I had forgotten that torture, it was a university set book, I never got beyond 1/2 way.

DadOnIce Sun 02-Feb-14 14:45:06

On Chesil Beach - 100 pages that felt like 500, only to get to the "point" that they were both a bit fumbling in bed?! And the pointless, "oh, look what cool people they became later" tacked-on ending.

The Time Traveller's Wife - annoying within less than 20 pages. Gave up with it, so doesn't really count for this thread.

That Ukrainian Tractors thing - totally unfunny.

Shopaholic - she needed a slap. Awful woman.

Gone Girl - loathsome book, horrible people, crap "twist".

The Night Circus - 500 pages of overwritten, wanky, poncy, plotless pontificating. Endless, slavering descriptions of puddings and colour-changing dresses and one pointless illusion after another. Paper-thin characters. Utter bilge.

Crowler Sun 02-Feb-14 14:46:05

I loved Chesil Beach.

And Ukranian Tractors!

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Sun 02-Feb-14 14:46:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clockwatching77 Sun 02-Feb-14 14:46:57

Testament of youth. Vera brittian. Studied it for a level so no choice.

TSSDNCOP Sun 02-Feb-14 14:48:56

I left my tent in San Francisco.

Total. Unfunny. Bollocks.

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Sun 02-Feb-14 14:49:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsKoala Sun 02-Feb-14 14:51:11

Another one for the Slap. I loathed every odious character in it. I forced myself thru it and spent the whole time inwardly ranting. Why it got so many good reviews i have no idea. It was just so unrealistic and everyone was beautiful - which i hate too - any book that goes into such detail about characters appearances and all characters are gawjus. So tedious.

I stopped reading thrillers because of that. One in particular the forensic pathologists was described in such detail and were of course breathtakingly beautiful plus smart and sassy, i just wanted to know what killed the bastard, not what shade of grey silk blouse she was wearing that set off her green eye hmm SO FUCKING WHAT!? Sorry had to get that off my chest

DrNick Sun 02-Feb-14 14:51:31

there were some raucnhy sex bits in the slap iirc blush

PuzzleRocks Sun 02-Feb-14 14:51:39

Another vote for Brick Lane. What a load of overhyped, tedious nothing.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Sun 02-Feb-14 14:53:48

50 shades. Was nagged into reading it, and it was absolute bilge, no redeeming features whatsoever.

JennyCalendar Sun 02-Feb-14 14:54:06

I loved The Book Thief and Jodi Picoult.

I studied English Literature at university and the one book that I struggled immensely with was 'AVindication of the Rights of Woman' by Mary Wollstonecraft. It was unintelligible as it was written as a stream of consciousness with very little punctuation and as such I feel did not show that women could write with clarity and intelligence.

I also cannot get through A Clockwork Orange - the writing style makes my brain hurt.

AnneElliott Sun 02-Feb-14 14:54:24

Time travellers wife
Catcher in the rye

I loved the Ukrainian tractors though and wolf hall.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sun 02-Feb-14 14:58:05

Doesn't actually qualify because I still can't finish it, but I have made repeated assaults on The Luminaries.

Pat myself on the back every time I finish a chapter but then start the next one and after a few pages realise that the characters cropped up in the chapter before last, but they are so forgettable and the story so impenetrable that I have forgotten who they are, what they did and why they matter, and what's more, I don't care.

Why am I still reading it? I turn to it when I'm having trouble sleeping...

FyreFly Sun 02-Feb-14 14:58:56

Effing One Hundred Years of effing Solitude

I don't care that it's universally acclaimed, I don't care that it's an international classic. It is DIRE. The plot makes no sense and the characters all have the same names. It is nothing more than a headache - I do not recommend it for your bookclub, no matter how good everyone else says it is.

peppersaunt Sun 02-Feb-14 14:59:48

HATE magical realism! Had to read Ulysses for a literature class and still couldn't finish it!
Ugh for Twilight!
Ugh for 50 Shades!

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 15:00:01

Well you all have excellent judgement (apart from The Cloud Atlas and Princess Bride haters who are just wrong)as you've identified some real stinkers.

I'll add Donna Tartt's The Little Friend and The Goldfinch. What complete wastes of time and both desperately in need of editing.

If you enjoy really atrociously so bad they are hilarious books then The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie.

drudgewithagrudge Sun 02-Feb-14 15:00:20

Catch 22 Failed twice to read it.

The Catcher in the rye. Stupid

On Chesil Beach. I wanted to bang their heads together and say "Just have a shag and get over it."

Ploughed through The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry because my daughter raved about it and made me borrow it. Why didn't he just get the train?

The Snow Child ditto above What was she on when she wrote it?

MrsKoala Sun 02-Feb-14 15:03:04

New York Trilogy i never actually made it thru. I couldn't get past the first few pages of the 2nd/middle book. It just made no sense to me at all. I kept re-reading the same page over and over again. In the end i gave up. I think i must be very thick tho, because everyone else i know raves about it. blush

The Dice Man i stopped reading because i hated the characters so much.

Crowler Sun 02-Feb-14 15:06:49

A hundred years of solitude was pretty hard-going for me too. Hate magical realism.

brightnearly Sun 02-Feb-14 15:07:49

Amelie Nothomb's "Hygiene of the Assassin". Disgusting.

rookiemater Sun 02-Feb-14 15:09:06

Actually mine didn't really count as I hadn't finished them apart from Wolf Hall, which whilst a tad more tedious, doesn't count as the worst book ever.

A bad one I didn't finish was that one where the man had two children and he gave one away because she was disabled or something - I can't remember the name of it, but it was gawdawful and twee to boot, but quite short.

brightnearly Sun 02-Feb-14 15:12:56

A close second is Madame Bovary - who I could not sympathise with at all, and who is so far the most annoying character I have come across in a book.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 15:13:08

(Posting from the coffee shop - it's not going very well)

I loved Catcher in the Rye. I didn't read it for school though, and just a year or two ago. I thought it was kind of lovely really. And it felt honestly written and not trying to make a point for the sake of it, iykwim?

MrsKoala Sun 02-Feb-14 15:13:09

Glamourama - the last third of the book just spiralled into ridiculousness.

HenriettaMaria Sun 02-Feb-14 15:16:51

Oh, yes, Brick Lane. It was so well reviewed that I thought there was something wrong with me when I didn't like it.

I didn't much care for Ian McEwan's Saturday, either. I liked his early stuff but that put me off a bit.

Two classics that I've struggled with over the years are Anna Karenina and The Ambassadors. I've tried them both twice and gave up in more or less the same place both times with each of them.

I am determined to crack them this year. <gritted teeth emoticon>

I quite liked Cloud Atlas. It was OK. Nearly fell off my chair when I saw it on one of these 100 greatest books of all time lists, however.

FyreFly Sun 02-Feb-14 15:21:47

I can say with no small degree of pride that I have never felt the slightest urge to pick up 50 shades, and I hope that never changes grin

squoosh Sun 02-Feb-14 15:24:12

The Thirteenth Tale.

What a load of old shit. Could not believe it was adapted for the television.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 02-Feb-14 15:26:25

Surely 50 Shades has to be the worst book ever, I read the first one because I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
No book ever has given me the rage like that one did, and I only skimmed through it because it was so bad.
I deleted it from my kindle as it would have just left a bad memory.
And who the fuck, having read it would honestly go on to read books 2 and 3?

bluebirdonmyshoulder Sun 02-Feb-14 15:28:22

Disgrace by J M Coetze. A booker prize winner but it was fucking awful, in fact I'm still angry at how bad it was and yet his up it's own arse it was to think it could be that bad and still get published.

Also Howard's End. Dire and boring.

Ememem84 Sun 02-Feb-14 15:28:50

Eat pray love. Crock of crap. Read the book then watched the movie. Made dh suffer through it. Awful awful stuff.

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sun 02-Feb-14 15:29:43

If you enjoy really atrociously so bad they are hilarious books then The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie.

Oh, god. I thought I was the only one. My mum picked it up for me to read when I was in hospital. There are no words.

I also feel vindicated in my loathing of The Slap. Worst book, ever. I tried, I really did, but with every sentence I just imagined the sad, bitter author, wanking furiously as he types pathetic sex scenes with the other hand.

All that 'Clive (or whatever the name was) stared unhappily at his grey,flaccid penis, as he thought of his wife's shrivelled thighs, and compared them to those of the teenage girl next door'

Rubbish, utter rubbish.

WitchWay Sun 02-Feb-14 15:30:32

I enjoyed the 100 yo man till the very end when he suddenly gets his libido back - aargh - FFS - ruined it for me

Corelli - awful, managed about a third

The French Lieutenant's Woman - urgh - finally managed to finish it after about a dozen false starts don't know why I bothered

50 shades of crap - AWFUL & the sex wasn't even that interesting IMO blush

Fyrefly, I feel that way about Eat Pray Love. From the title alone, I infer that it must be absolutely excruciating. Nice to see my instincts vindicated by its popping up so much on this thread!

FyreFly Sun 02-Feb-14 15:33:10

I think I have an unread copy of The Rose Labyrinth on my bookshelf somewhere... fairly sure I bought it some years ago at an airport and just forgot about it. Clearly it made a huge impression! It may have to be consigned to a charity shop.

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sun 02-Feb-14 15:33:16

Oh and I also loathe The Time Traveller's Stupid, Dozy Twat of a Wife. The mothers at my playgroup absolutely raved about it. They passed two or three battered copies around the group as if they were gold dust.

MrsSteptoe Sun 02-Feb-14 15:33:35

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. It may well have become better, but I couldn't get past the writing style. It read like one of my DS's attempts to deploy personification, simile and metaphor in half an hour to impress the 11+ examiners (though better executed than my DS's attempts, which tended to be things like "as angry as a raelly really angry gorril gorila ape".)

EATmum Sun 02-Feb-14 15:35:15

The Slap for sure; also The Inheritance of Loss; and (last book club choice) The Yellow House. Hours of my life I will never get back.

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sun 02-Feb-14 15:35:44

^ Is that the one where the brother and sister end up shagging, MrsSteptoe? And there's a page long description of phlegm? What was all that about then? Dear goodness.

I hate it when authors try to be edgy and different, but are painfully self conscious about it all the way through the book.

WitchWay Sun 02-Feb-14 15:36:28

Karma agree grin

WitchWay Sun 02-Feb-14 15:36:57

sorry I was agreeing with Time Traveller's twat wife

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sun 02-Feb-14 15:39:54

She is a twat though grin Imagine if she posted on Relationships...

'my DH has been stalking me since I was a teenager, now that we're married he disappears at random....'

desertmum Sun 02-Feb-14 15:40:24

I love Anna Karenina - read it on a train in December in the '80's between Moscow and Leningrad - it was snowing and cold and awesome and the mood was so right for the book. Luuurve it.
On the other hand I hated The Beach, more drivel pretending to be insightful. But Eat Love Pray still gets my number one vote for worst book in the world - she really really annoyed me. All copies should be burned.

MrsSteptoe Sun 02-Feb-14 15:42:10

Karma v. LordSnooty
yup, that's the one

I read a lot so have collected a few stinkers over the years. I can
t remember the names now but various feisty-female-detective ones that have just been so predictable and badly written ( I like good feisty female detectives like VI Warshawski and wossname in the early Val McDermid books)

Crowler Sun 02-Feb-14 15:49:06

Anna K is my all-time favorite. I got my husband to read it (major - he's non-fiction all the way), and it's now his too.

Scarletohello Sun 02-Feb-14 15:49:33

Agree with Labyrinth, couldn't finish it!

Also these were complete bore fests for me;

Freedom - Franzen - didn't give a shit about the characters
Casual Vacancy - JK Rowling - ditto
The Outsider - Sadie Jones ( made me feel like throwing myself off a bridge afterwards!)

kotinka Sun 02-Feb-14 15:50:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeazlyPops Sun 02-Feb-14 15:53:25

The Night Circus. Boring, boring boring.

The Coffee Shop of Kabul. Very poorly written. The synopsis compared it to The Kite Runner, so I was surprised that it was so shit.

stiffstink Sun 02-Feb-14 15:54:33

The Lotus Eaters, set during the Vietnam War. I hated the main character, a female photographer with no redeeming features who had all these men falling for her for no apparent reason.

I was hoping she'd die from about 1/3rd of the way through so the nice Vietnamese guy could be the lead instead. She didn't die and I am still very annoyed about the time I wasted reading it.

I even hoped for a Dusk Till Dawn type scenario where vampires would take over, but that wouldn't be historically accurate.

Sillybillybob Sun 02-Feb-14 15:54:37

rookiemater do you mean the memory-keeper's daughter or something? The children were twins but the girl had Down's Syndrome so he gave her away and pretended she died. Maybe it was the Secret-Keeper's daughter or something.

kotinka Sun 02-Feb-14 15:56:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scarletohello Sun 02-Feb-14 16:00:06

I did quite enjoy Eat Pray, Love but think thats cos I was about to go off travelling to India by myself for 4 months after being made redundant and needed some courage...

Holamum Sun 02-Feb-14 16:00:21

The Emergence of Judy Taylor - most annoying protaganist ever!

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Sun 02-Feb-14 16:01:35

Dawn french's dear sylvia, disappointing as i like her other book.

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 16:02:46

I don't care if Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook is a seminal piece of feminist writing as my goodness it's dull and she is so unbearably smug.

minsmum Sun 02-Feb-14 16:04:22

I know I didn't finish it but no bad book thread would be complete without a mention of that absolute shite Vernon Godlittle

HenriettaMaria Sun 02-Feb-14 16:06:16

I love Anna Karenina - read it on a train in December in the '80's between Moscow and Leningrad - it was snowing and cold and awesome and the mood was so right for the book. Luuurve it.

Sounds brilliant, just the right atmosphere.

Anna K is my all-time favorite. I got my husband to read it (major - he's non-fiction all the way), and it's now his too.

Oh, dear, I feel like such a philistine, now. grin I'm not proud of having struggled with it - I really want to read it.

And I have read other serious books, honest. wink

GemmaPomPom Sun 02-Feb-14 16:07:46

Vanity Fare. Utter, utter crap. Made myself read about 300 pages before I decided I couldn't take any more.

Helpyourself Sun 02-Feb-14 16:11:13

Nearly every book club book I've ever read- most of which have been mentioned up thread.
Panda you're on to something in your OP, about taste and best sellers. I'm afraid that almost by definition if something vvvvv popular it'll have been hyped beyond belief or a bit obvious- neither of which are any indication that they'll be good.
Proper ffs, throw across the room, recent reads include One Day, gone girl, that silly 100 year old man one.
I like the Slap- I found the characters v unpleasant, but it was still compelling. I've bought Barracuda; its big!
DrNick is that Utz, Chatwin?

lambbone Sun 02-Feb-14 16:14:03

Up thread a PP mentioned Saturday by Ian McEwan. Agree irritating. I was getting on ok with it and then hit the squash match and ground to a halt. So, so dull.

Agree Gone Girl didn't even begin to live up to the hype.

And talking of disappointing thrillers- Kathy Reichs. Awful. Got to about page 20 of one of hers and simply couldn't continue.

camsie Sun 02-Feb-14 16:14:14

On Chesil Beach....turgid to say the least.

DoctorTwo Sun 02-Feb-14 16:16:12

whippetwoman Sun 02-Feb-14 13:49:51

How Late it Was, How Late.

Just don't. Not ever. Words cannot describe....I cannot articulate my annoyance with it.

Couldn't agree more. There are two good things about this book; it ends (thank fuck) and it persuaded me that life's too short to read shit books. My rule now is that if they're still shit by page 100 they go to the chazzer.

GlassOfPort Sun 02-Feb-14 16:16:14

I loved Anna Karenina too, but I read it at 15 when I did not have DS had the mental space for that kind of novel. Now, I suspect I would struggle a bit...

On the other hand, I intensely dislike those novel with titles that seem to have been written by committee or by some smug sub-editor (the Ukranian tractor thingy, Eat Pray Love, etc). I suppose this doesn't count for this thread though, as these are the books I never buy smile

McSmoke Sun 02-Feb-14 16:16:25

50 Shades was a crock of shit, but I felt that i had to finish it if I were going to critisise it. Horrible glorification of abuse, written so poorly that I wondered if it was an early attempt by a room full of monkeys tapping away at their typewritters.

I'm afraid that I have judged my boss upon her declaration that she blooody loved it.

I keep expecting Derren Brown to admit that the whole thing was a brainwashing trick by him for a yet to be shown episode of his tv programme.

hiddenhome Sun 02-Feb-14 16:16:40

I can't remember the title, but it was a true story about an Australian man who ended up in a Thai jail. It was utter shite and full of unnecessary swearing even though I don't mind a bit of swearing myself hmm

It ended up in the bin.

I also tried to read The Turn of The Screw, but couldn't cope with the archaic language, so that got binned as well.

PerpendicularVince Sun 02-Feb-14 16:17:18

50 Shades of Wank. Poorly written, dull sex scenes and annoying characters.

The Zahir. The lead character was annoying, pretentious and spent her time giving out pieces of a shirt she'd cut up. I can't advise against it enough.

PerpendicularVince Sun 02-Feb-14 16:17:44

50 Shades of Wank. Poorly written, dull sex scenes and annoying characters.

The Zahir. The lead character was annoying, pretentious and spent her time giving out pieces of a shirt she'd cut up. I can't advise against it enough.

hiddenhome Sun 02-Feb-14 16:18:47

Oh, and another one called Housekeeping by someone I can't remember. I bought it because I liked the cover confused

It had won some sort of award, but was just awful.

bunnymother Sun 02-Feb-14 16:20:53

Wuthering Heights. One of the most overrated books I have ever read.

joanofarchitrave Sun 02-Feb-14 16:23:20

'The End of History and the Last Man' by Francis Fukuyama. Read [most of] it with steam coming out of my ears at the rank stupidity and hard-of-thinkingness of it, being published as a real book for real money. It was quite heavy so made a dramatic sound when it hit the wall. That was the best thing about it.

Lots of books I loved on this thread. Totally agree re The Slap though. What a nobcheese. IMO people who hate everybody make bad writers.

acjfluff Sun 02-Feb-14 16:26:45

The Book of Dave by Will Self. I loathed it all the way through and only finished it because the ending had to redeem the misogynistic awfulness of the plot. It didn't.

kotinka Sun 02-Feb-14 16:27:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TulipOHare Sun 02-Feb-14 16:30:52

Oh yes The Slap for me, too. Horrid and infuriating, nasty characters, nasty authorial voice.
And Twilight. Like a PP, I read all four for some reason. Well, all but the very end. I stopped about 100 pages from the end of the last one as I had a horrible feeling that the odious characters actually WERE all going to survive the series without growing or changing or suffering in any way. So I checked Wikipedia and I was right, they did angry.

On the other hand, Catch-22 is one of my favourite books ever ever ever, and I am shock at the poster who hated American Gods, I loved that book an unreasonable amount.

chrome100 Sun 02-Feb-14 16:33:37

Oh I LOVED Chesil Beach, you're all a bunch of Heathens!

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 16:34:25

Housekeeping is by Marylin Robinson . I quite liked it and it was made into a film by Bill Forsyth.

Her next one Gilead however is platitudinous drivel which just goes on and on and on.

dontcallmemam Sun 02-Feb-14 16:38:52

chrome don't say you liked Enduring Love too? I'm one of your Heathens!

Sillybillybob Sun 02-Feb-14 16:40:08

Enduring Love is brilliant! Shame the film was so bobbins.

bunnymother Sun 02-Feb-14 16:40:11

I also loved Chesil Beach - I've often thought of it. I disliked Atonement and also Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman, despite really liking Caitlin.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 02-Feb-14 16:41:18

OP, have you flung it yet?

I loved TTW and was massively disappointed in HFS - at least I only got it from the library.

I abandoned The Slap, planned to go back to it one day - but don't think I will after this thread!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 02-Feb-14 16:41:51

SGB, Lindsey Duncan or Carol Jordan?

NancyinCali Sun 02-Feb-14 16:45:32

Glad I'm not the only one who couldn't finish Love in the time of cholera. I think that's the only book I've ever given up on.

I did finish Wolf Hall but didn't get why everyone raved about it.

Glad I haven't attempted Her fearful symmetry judging by the responses here (loved time travellers wife).

PipkinsPal Sun 02-Feb-14 16:50:45

HesterShaw I thought it was me. I bought To The Lighthouse at a second hand sale. Believe me I've tried many a time to get passed chapter 2 and failed miserably. It is now in a box ready for a car boot sale.
I also hated Emma by Jane Austen, probably because we were forced to read it in school.

Peekingduck Sun 02-Feb-14 16:52:33

I have read Jodi Picoult when there's nothing else in the house (my sister gives them to me). But when I started reading Change of Heart, and was thinking "This is familiar..." then realised she'd completely ripped off The Green Mile - I was so disgusted I binned it.
I even flicked forward to check if the story carried on full of stolen ideas, and of course it did.

mrsjay Sun 02-Feb-14 17:07:25

the Pact my jodi piccoult it made me so cross i was raging by the end of it,

yonisareforever Sun 02-Feb-14 17:08:57

da vinci code, gave up half way through and captain corelis mandlolin.

mrsjay Sun 02-Feb-14 17:09:48

Angels and Demons I just got past 3rd chapter and i couldnt cope

CatOfTheDay Sun 02-Feb-14 17:10:39

The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year, by Sue Townsend. I normally enjoy her books but this one was awful - no likeable characters, no real storyline - I struggled through in the hope it would have a decent ending - but that was crap too, it just sort of fizzled out.

Megrim Sun 02-Feb-14 17:12:41

hiddenhome the book about the Australian bloke who fled jail and ended up in India was "Shantaram" - utter drivel, couldn't get past the first 20 pages.

I had to have three goes at reading "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and once I made it through the first 100 pages I enjoyed it. Same with "Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse, bit formulaic but an easy read.

Can no longer read anything by Patricia Cornwell - all written in the present tense and so pretentious. Plus ridiculous story lines and I find the Scarpetta character deeply unpleasant.

Anything by Mo Hayder.

MrsSteptoe Sun 02-Feb-14 17:15:05

The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year, by Sue Townsend
Yes. What an absolute waste of paper and ink that was.

minipie Sun 02-Feb-14 17:20:28

Yes yes! Thank god other people hated the woman who went to bed for a year. I was lent it by SIL who said it was hilarious. Three quarters of the way through I was still waiting for something even vaguely funny.

BumPotato Sun 02-Feb-14 17:31:27

Another Cloud Atlas hater here. I bought it as a holiday read. It was recommended to me by a friend who described it as mind blowing. When I finished it, I binned it, rather than leave it on the shelf of our villa, to save some unsuspecting soul having the misfortune of reading it.

dementedma Sun 02-Feb-14 17:34:30

Miss Smillas feeling for Snow.
Had to abandon it.

grimbletart Sun 02-Feb-14 17:42:22

I've had Wolf Hall on my bedside cabinet for six months. I keep reading a bit, then putting it aside for another book. Must have read at least a dozen books in between pages of Wolf Hall. Thought I would love it as I love that period of history but it is so tedious.

revealall Sun 02-Feb-14 17:44:36

mrsjay - me too. A shame because the concept behind the book wasn't bad in itself. Just needed someone who write in an engaging style.
I find quite a few American writers grate actually.

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Sun 02-Feb-14 17:48:04

Now that I think about it, anything with a title along the lines of 'Somebody's daughter/wife/child' is usually shit. I've noticed lots of books with titles like that recently, and they are all shit. The Time Traveller's Wife. The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Etc, etc

But then, maybe it's because I subconsciously feel uncomfortable with the (usually female) subjects of the title, being defined by their relation to a man grin

overthinking this

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 17:49:33

On Chesil Beach is just so... obvious. They're both intensely annoying, you can't see what they see in each other, and the Big Idea is, erm, that they can't get it together in bed and are completely unable to talk about it. I kept reading because I thought there was going to be some big deep and meaningful revelation. But no - just a blindingly obvious explanation.

And the role of Chesil Beach itself as some kind of dreary metaphor is soooooooo dull.

Thank god it was short, that's the best I can say for it.

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 17:51:35

And I loved Enduring Love and his early stuff. For me it went off the boil about halfway through Saturday. When I realised that yes, it really was about nothing more than a self-absorbed middle-aged man and his hang-ups, putting a comic book baddie in his place, with some gratuitous prurience along the way.

MissFenella Sun 02-Feb-14 17:54:23

Atonement - the characters just seemed so tedious and smug

LessMissAbs Sun 02-Feb-14 17:57:26

Echo whoever has mentioned Eat, Love, Pray so far. Terrible. Really irritating woman feeling sorry for herself, loads of opportunities and she hardly did anything, then overly self congratulatory for pulling a really old cocklodger.

I got about 12 pages into 50 Shades of Grey and had to abandon, so dire.

MissFenella Sun 02-Feb-14 17:58:43

also U have never been able to get past chapter 1 of any Stephen King - why use one word when 3472 will do.

Kathy Reichs - like the tv programme Bones but the books leave me cold, nothing likeable about the characters

Jon Kellerman - used to love these when I was 18 or so but on re read I find Alex Dellaware a bit 'know it all'

glitteriseverywhere Sun 02-Feb-14 17:59:13

Hiddenhome think you mean shantaram. Dreadful book. I know people who rave about it though - I can't understand why.

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sun 02-Feb-14 18:03:59

I agree with Caitlin17, Donna Tartt's The Little Friend. Such a long book and nothing happens. It desperately needed editing down a lot.

Also, His Dark Materials, although to be fair I didn't finish the last book. I didn't find it gripping at all and I didn't feel anything for the characters.

chrome100 Sun 02-Feb-14 18:08:21

Yes, I did love Enduring Love! And Atonement (although I skipped the boring bit about the war).

CumberCookie Sun 02-Feb-14 18:11:05


I was so annoyed by that ending, I wasn't sad just really peeed off. It just seemed like a cop out.

MrsAMerrick Sun 02-Feb-14 18:12:56

sorry, I really liked "Her Fearful Symmetry"". Agree about the Kate Mosse though.

I waded through "The End of Your Life Book Club" hating every moment of it.

Quinteszilla Sun 02-Feb-14 18:15:17

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Which is embarrassing, because I found it even more tedious than Crime and Punishment. But worse, because were travelling in Kerala when we met a group of Americans. They explained they were from a book club, and had decided to come all the way because of this book that they absolutely loved. My husband said "he he, he he, thats odd, my wife says it is the worst book she has ever read, and she has read more books than I have hair on my head". confused There was a stunned silence and they did not speak to us again. blush

Luckily, dh has learnt to not always speak the truth...

Tiredemma Sun 02-Feb-14 18:20:35

The Memory Keepers Daughter.

Boring shit

kerala Sun 02-Feb-14 18:20:59

With you on fearful symmetry I gave up. Commiserations if its a book club and you have to battle on. Loved time travellers wife so it was disappointing.

I enjoyed many of the derided books on here loved atonement, need to talk about Kevin, one day and enduring love. Totally agree about kate Mosse though meandering rubbish had to bail. Also the little friend though enjoyed secret history and loved goldfinch.

My shame is with the exception of a Christmas carol have managed to finish a Charles dickens book <hangs head in shame>

ExcuseTypos Sun 02-Feb-14 18:21:20

The God Of Small Things
Wolf Hall- have tried twice and cannot get into it
The Labyrinth.

I've not finished any of he above- I just didn't care enough.

kerala Sun 02-Feb-14 18:22:10

Should read "never" before managed

snozzlemaid Sun 02-Feb-14 18:22:47

The Lovely Bones! Really don't know why I finished it.

kerala Sun 02-Feb-14 18:22:54

Loved wolf hall and bring up the bodies

bakingaddict Sun 02-Feb-14 18:28:19

I've read a lot of utter crap in my life but the worst for me was Perdido Street Station by China Melville. It is the weirdest shite i've read and only after did DH and DSIL tell me it is proper hardcore fanatsy. It's a genre I just don't get.

Other ones are One Hundred Years of Solitude...felt like i'd been reading it for a 100 years.

In the Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Have yet to be bowled over by Audrey Niffenberger, I just couldn't get into Her Fearful Symmetry too or Time Traveller's Wife.

IdaBlankenship Sun 02-Feb-14 18:29:21

Oh, I loved the Book Thief and The Night Circus blush. I agree with pp about American Psycho though, I was really upset by some bits and I am not sure that it being a satire yadda yadda yadda is excuse enough for the appalling violence against women in it.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 02-Feb-14 18:29:55

Lady Flumpalot 'We need to talk about Kevin' was a book I had to plough through and it did get better.
I' m reading 'Where did you go to Bernadette' at the moment..... I'm losing the will to live!!
I also have 'After you'd gone' - not good.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 02-Feb-14 18:35:54

Brick Lane ... Eventually i finished it.
I didn't finish : 'Love in a time of Cholera'
Or Cecilia Ahearn's first book. Nor will never try and read another of her books. Pure drivel.
Hated Harry Potter 1 - never finished it nor read the others. Oh dear.

FootieOnTheTelly Sun 02-Feb-14 18:38:15

I can't say I have ploughed through a book I have not wanted to. All the book clubs I have belonged to were ok with members not getting past the first chapter if they hated the books.

Books I have given up on include
Wolf Hall (loved her other books)
Captain Corellis mandolin ( loved his earlier books)
Love, Eat,Prey. (Seriously! People enjoyed this book shock shock)
The Help
Cloud Atlas
Da Vinchi Code (it's bollox)
There was some awful book set in the US Deep South that was dire... I can't remember its title but I feel agitated just thinking about its crap'ness.

ProfondoRosso Sun 02-Feb-14 18:38:16

All the Stieg Larsson Girl With... books.

I thought I might like them because I love Wallander but I found the fact that no woman alive can resist the sexual magnetism of the main character (obviously an avatar for the writer) really bloody annoying an far fetched. The second he gets off the train/plane in any place in the word, you're deafened by the sound of pants dropping a hundred at a time.

And the writer kept referring to Lisbeth Salander as anorexic, when he clearly meant skinny. She polished off takeaways FGS! Pretty offensive to use a word like that when you clearly don't know what it means.

AdmiralData Sun 02-Feb-14 18:41:43

Oh dear.
Haven't read most of the books being slated but ...
I love Stephen Kings books, started reading at about 12 and haven't quit yet.
Love 'Wuthering Heights', studied it for A level.
Reallllyyyyyy didn't like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. Read another book by the same author though, sucker for punishment.

defineme Sun 02-Feb-14 18:42:07

I loved The Slap! Can't see why you'd need to like the characters to enjoy a well written, funny and insightful book? I had a lovely chat with the author on a mumsnet webchat.

None of you have read a truly awful book (including the tripe that is 50 shades of Grey-fan fic should stay as just that) unless you've read The Shack by William P Young. I started writing notes in case I forgot all the ways it was bad.

Quinteszilla Sun 02-Feb-14 18:43:05

I think some books lose something in translation.
I did not have that impression at all after Stieg Larson (but I read them in Swedish)

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 02-Feb-14 18:44:24

Gone Girl, The Secret History, The Slap, anything by Jodi Picout...I'll think of some more I'm suregrin

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 02-Feb-14 18:45:53

How could I forget 50 shades?shock

ProfondoRosso Sun 02-Feb-14 18:50:00

Oh that's definitely possible, Quinteszilla and I have a lot of respect for Larsson as a man. But all the shagging was in the narrative. Unless the English translator was really bad and interpreted periods of intense research as euphemisms for having sex wink

defineme, I really enjoyed The Slap too! I Sure, all the characters were despicable but that's what made it compelling. As my DSis said, it was so entertaining, it was as good as watching telly! grin

sadiekillmouski Sun 02-Feb-14 18:50:43

The Alexandra Quartet by Lawrence Durrell...four flipping volumes of dialogue that essentially boils down to this:
"I love you"
"I despise you"
"I know you do. That makes my love for you even stronger."

Feh, I tell you, feh! Worse yet, followed by the Avignon Quintet. Have no idea where it all stopped.

Quinteszilla Sun 02-Feb-14 18:51:07

I guess I must have ffwd through the shapping! grin

Can you tell I have not read 50 shades...

Quinteszilla Sun 02-Feb-14 18:51:34

I dont even know how to spell "making love" in modern speak!

Birdinthebush Sun 02-Feb-14 18:51:41

The Family Way by Tony Parson such drivel I actually tore it when I had finished reading the vile crap

littledrummergirl Sun 02-Feb-14 18:51:46

The Hobbit- dont understand how they turned it into so many films.
Catch 22 one of the few books I didn't finish.

anonacfr Sun 02-Feb-14 18:53:35

See I love George Eliot but can't stand Austen. I find her books so dull.

Don't like Philip Roth. It's all very same-y to me.

I tend to like authors that make people cringe, like Mitchell (I loved Cloud Atlas) or Haruki Murakami.

I'm re-reading The Forsyte Saga right now. Marvellous book.

Joysmum Sun 02-Feb-14 18:55:23

50 Shades
Dear Fatty

LurkingCinners Sun 02-Feb-14 18:56:58

The knife of never letting go.

Hated it. And the others in the series.
Couldn't believe such awful brutal and antisocial crap is a best seller and been made into films.
I feel like I live in a parallel universe sometimes.

ProfondoRosso Sun 02-Feb-14 19:01:36

I'm so jealous of you being a Swedish speaker, Quint - it's such a great sounding language. smile

I love the fact that the word for good is 'braw' (sorry, no idea how to spell it) because where I come from (Glasgow), 'braw' also means good! As in 'they sausages were braw, gies more!'

CoteDAzur Sun 02-Feb-14 19:04:09

Profondo - I just searched my Kindle copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and have to say that it is not the author calling Lisbeth "anorexic", but characters who don't know her and who are judging her in her appearance. "... that anorexic bitch" etc.

The Spire by William Golding. I had to read it for A-level and I was bored to tears after three pages.

Most of the "classics" Dickens, Austen etc. Boring and overrated.

ComposHat Sun 02-Feb-14 19:06:26

I always give up.

There are too many good books out there waiting to be read to waste my life reading tripe.

Shelbury Sun 02-Feb-14 19:06:26

I love most books about the Tudor period but Wolf Hall was a struggle. Currently reading Bring Up the Bodies and I am enjoying it more but can never work out who's speaking - she frustratingly goes for paragraphs just saying "he said".

Enders Game was horrendous - endless passages about gravitation or lack of it - quite good twist at the end though.

Finkler Question - I gave up.

Anything by Kate Mosse or Victoria Hislop - yawn

And I'm ashamed to say I bought some twaddle called Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd recently and it was awful.

CoteDAzur Sun 02-Feb-14 19:06:37

... by her appearance, rather.

supergreenuk Sun 02-Feb-14 19:08:04

I am a huge Miranda fan but her book......never finished it. Part of her charm is the way she says things and her expressions and it didn't come across in the book. Sorry Miranda. I am coming to see you live in April though.

Rinoachicken Sun 02-Feb-14 19:08:15

The Dome (Stephen King)

Such a cop out lazy ending

Shelbury Sun 02-Feb-14 19:08:20

Gravitation? Is that even a word? Gravity!

Snatchoo Sun 02-Feb-14 19:08:40

I hated Cloud Atlas too!

I watched the film and really loved it, so read the book. My god, such a tediously written book. I don't especially like books written as diaries or letters and this was like it all the way through. I ploughed through to the end, god knows why.

Her Fearful Symmetry was really shit. Really, really shit. So disappointing as The Time Travelers Wife is one of my favourites.

I have ten untouched books by Garbiel Garcia Marquez - bought them as a pack from the Book People, and just cant't abide his style of writing. The colours on the covers are nice though grin

Lizzabadger Sun 02-Feb-14 19:09:39

Eat Pray Love

One Day

The Lovely Bones

desertmum Sun 02-Feb-14 19:09:48

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas - awfully written, didn't enjoy it at all and skipped through it despite others telling me how awesome it was

sazzlesb Sun 02-Feb-14 19:12:46

Prayer for Owen Meaney is one of my all time faves (although do agree re John Irving's weirdness in general)! Loved American Psycho (but that was about 20 years ago or whenever it first came out - would probably find it deeply irritating now). Thought the Larsson trilogy started off ok but gave up 100 pages into the last one - dull, dull, dull.

Perks of being a wallflower

what an absolute pile of shit...I kept waiting for something to happen...then it cost 29p on the kindle and I want my money back...and those hours of my life

sazzlesb Sun 02-Feb-14 19:17:05

Agree with Kerala on Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies - loved them but am struggling with A Place of Greater Safety - about 800 pages of very small print about the French Revolution - can never remember all the French character names and it's been on the go for about 6 months. Makes me feel highbrow reading it though

Shelbury Sun 02-Feb-14 19:18:40

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - I read it all but couldn't honestly say I enjoyed it - it was a long time ago now but I just remember it being a real endurance test

brainwashed Sun 02-Feb-14 19:20:54

I have loved some of the books that others have hated, Wolf Hall and The Road for example. I thought When god was a rabbit was utter rubbish. We read it for book one rated it at all and we felt it was as if the author had been on a creative writing course and had tried to put everything she'd learned in the book..very badly! I also really don't like The Lovely Bones which I know others have raved about.

DrCoconut Sun 02-Feb-14 19:22:38

Time travellers wife was very hard work. Da Vinci code likewise. And I never got round to finishing Pilgrims Progress.

littleomar Sun 02-Feb-14 19:25:40

New York Trilogy. Kept going to the end expecting something to happen. I was wrong. I was so annoyed I threw the book away.

Also something by Iris Murdoch featuring a lot of idle rich people.

I quite enjoyed The Slap.

pandarific Sun 02-Feb-14 19:26:39

Yet another bad one - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I found it very, very, very pretentious. Tossed it after about 30 pages so I may be being unfair, but I was disappointed, as I liked the idea.

On Her Fearful Symmetry, have just got to the bit where the twins inherit 2.5 million quid. Of course they do! (I would have fecked it at the wall by now, but it's my first attending at this club and it seems rude not to bother, even if it is like pulling teeth. Now how do I avoid venting my spleen on the evening... wine? Wine!)

littleomar Sun 02-Feb-14 19:26:49

Ooh and that reminds me the lovely bones. Creepy and twee.

SirChenjin Sun 02-Feb-14 19:27:50

Oh yes - Lovely Bones. Awful. Same with Time Travellers Wife - started so well and then just fizzled out, as if the author got bored writing it.

spidey66 Sun 02-Feb-14 19:29:57

I didn't mind Her Fearful Symmetry. I preferred it to TTTW, which I hated with a passion. Almost as much as I hated Life of Pi. My God, that was shite.

EduCated Sun 02-Feb-14 19:30:01

Agree with everyone who said The Slap, though with regards to the OP's question I didn't actually finish it.

Worst ever was aTorchwood book when I was about 15, massively into the show and loved reading fan fiction. The book was worse than the worst of the fan fiction, horrifically written and completely bizarre storyline that read as though te author was about 13 and fancied himself as the glamorous villain. Huge pile of shite.

spidey66 Sun 02-Feb-14 19:30:36

Oh and The Lovely Bones. Rubbish.

loveliesbleeding1 Sun 02-Feb-14 19:32:54

Watermelon marion keyes, awful, too long by about 150 pages.
Also another vote here for The woman who went to bed for a year, such a shame as I have lived all of Sue Townsends other books.

ProfondoRosso Sun 02-Feb-14 19:34:45

Not in this translation, Cote sad

Page 28, 4th line down. That's the narrator's voice, not Armansky's.


tshirtsuntan Sun 02-Feb-14 19:35:56

I liked her fearful symmetry- possibly more so because I drive through Highgate cemetery most days grin I couldn't finish a book by Monica Ali, think it's called alejandro blue? Loved Brick Lane and will usually read anything...not that though!

Soopermum1 Sun 02-Feb-14 19:41:37

portrait of a lady by henry james. forced to read it for uni. that's too many hours of my life I'll never get back

Quinteszilla Sun 02-Feb-14 19:42:19

Ah ProfondoRosso I dont speak Swedish! Like most Scandinavians we can understand eachother almost as well as we understand our own language, in my case, I speak Norwegian and can read and listen to Danish and Swedish without any problem. I love the sound of Swedish, it is a beautiful language.

hackmum Sun 02-Feb-14 19:43:14

Pleased to discover I'm not the only person irritated by Gilead (everyone else seems to love it) or confused by The Luminaries.

I normally like Howard Jacobson, but The Finkler Question is undoubtedly one of his worst.

The worst book I've ever read? Well, it's a close-run thing between Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (though I didn't make it to the end) and Man and Boy by Tony Parsons (which I did finish, though really wished I hadn't bothered).

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Sun 02-Feb-14 19:43:27

I'm (kind of) glad that Atonement and The Secret History have already appeared, I thought they were both dull when my work colleagues raved over them.

I also offer On Beauty.

Varya Sun 02-Feb-14 19:45:05

Dan Brown.................

marmitecat Sun 02-Feb-14 19:45:46

Catcher in the rye. I'd had enough meeeee meeeee meeee self absorbed teenage angst after page 1.

Other than that I am well read.

SweetPenelope Sun 02-Feb-14 19:47:19

I read most of Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. I only kept going because I wanted to find out what happened but it went on and on. In the end I looked up the plot on Wikipedia because I couldn't take any more.

The most boring book ever - The Egoist by George Meredith. It had a good underlying plot and I wanted to find out what happened, but it was incredibly tedious and I would have thrown it out of the window if I'd had a window handy.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 02-Feb-14 19:47:50

DH Lawrence's Sons and Lovers. Really hoped all the characters would die. I'm sure if it is was the book or the characters that I really disliked. Haven't read anything else of his since.

KingCrimson Sun 02-Feb-14 19:49:10

Another one here who hated White Teeth. Cardboard characters right from the start. One of the few books I've never managed to force myself to finish.

JanePlanet Sun 02-Feb-14 19:50:58

Eat. Love. Pray. Shite.

Ubik1 Sun 02-Feb-14 19:51:54

Virginia Woolf was a great writer. Amazing.

But Orlando is the most irritating, up itself book I have ever ever read.

50 shades was so horrendous I kind if enjoyed it. Can you imagine goi g to the pub with that tedious pair?

CoteDAzur Sun 02-Feb-14 19:54:00

Profondo - In the page you link to, it is Armansky calling Lisbeth "anorexic", not the narrator/author. Literally on the same page, it goes on to say "She did not in fact have an eating disorder, Armansky was sure of that."

TheArmadillo Sun 02-Feb-14 19:54:20

The ladies no 1 detective agency

I tried to read as much as I could but couldn't finish it.

Characters were awful, story was poor and overall patronising. And dull.

MyBachisworsethanmybite Sun 02-Feb-14 19:56:58

Wuthering Heights. Dreadful. What a waste of time that book was.

Books I've not been able to finish because they were so awful:
- Blind Assassin by Margaret Attwood. What were the prize judges thinking??
- An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. Whiney, moany, irritating man, the main character.

bigfuckoffpie Sun 02-Feb-14 20:03:40

I abandoned Saturday as I thought it was tedious, and I also really didn't like Orlando.

Most recent very annoying book I read through to the end was Morrissey's Autobiography. It started off being really good, but by the end of his innumerable disputes about money, virtually nothing about the Smiths, and self important rants about the evils of meat, I'd gone from being a fan to wanting to smack him in the face with my kindle.

JeanBodel Sun 02-Feb-14 20:08:32

Anything by Thomas Hardy. I have tried, and tried, and failed.

We Need To Talk About Kevin - got about half way through but realised things weren't going to get any better

The Gormenghast Trilogy - I do wonder if it would improve if I could get past the first couple of chapters

A friend insisted on lending me Labyrinth. I read three pages to show willing but couldn't get any further.

KingCrimson Sun 02-Feb-14 20:21:24

Anna Karenina.

Might have been OK if it'd ended about halfway through.

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 20:22:18

The Egoist is incomprehensible. I had to read it for a book club. I couldn't make head nor tale of it.

ProfondoRosso Sun 02-Feb-14 20:25:36

But that's what makes it confusing, Cote! Why describe someone as anorexic if you're certain they don't have an eating disorder? I'd say the voice at that point is the omniscient narrator as there's no "Armansky thought/assumed" to qualify him as the subjective character there. And it does say he was sure she didn't have eating disorder.

Obviously it's open to interpretation, though - it's difficult to read authorial intention in translation!

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 20:33:00

Also something by Iris Murdoch featuring a lot of idle rich people.

That'd be all of then. She was insufferable.

I'm glad to see so many votes for The Slap. That book made me so angry at the time I'd wasted on it(another book club choice)

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 20:34:17

Argh " head nor tail"(although "tale" was entirely missing )

PixelAteMyFace Sun 02-Feb-14 20:38:45

I offer up "The Autograph Man" - tried to read it twice and couldn't get beyond fifty pages, too self-consciously clever

The Satanic Verses - another one I made two unsuccessful attempts at reading, boring twaddle.

The Time Traveller's Wife - irritating and pointless

Never Let Me Go - weird, didn't find any of the characters engaging in any way.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 02-Feb-14 20:39:35

I've just finished American Gods which I was disappointed with. I thought I would like this as normally enjoy fantasy.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 02-Feb-14 20:40:10

I love time travellers wife and the book thief.

Pilgit Sun 02-Feb-14 20:45:41

Wuthering Heights. Could not abide it and convinced me that English Lit A level was really not for me....

Ragusa Sun 02-Feb-14 21:01:13

I once got stuck on holiday with only 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop for entertainment. Sexy, yet pure and virtuous young Greek wenches, with intolerable suffering bravely borne thrown in for good measure. Just so very bad.

I didn't get on with Catcher in the Rye or The Grapes of Wrath. I find 'big inportant themes' in general really hard going. That one about philosophy (Sophie's World'?) was abysmal. Give me believable characters I care about any day!

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Sun 02-Feb-14 21:27:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Babcia Sun 02-Feb-14 21:33:43

Diary of a Call Girl. Picked it up as a freebie on holiday, so bored by the holiday that I read the whole thing but found myself not any more entertained. Found out a few years later when all the names became public that I'd had a romantic run in with her bloke- totally explained everything about why it was so utterly dull as dishwater and considering it was supposed to be a memoir of erotic adventures, I thought thoroughly vanilla.

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 21:52:38

Ooh doctorsnewkidneys, The Spire, good call!

Another book where you have to drag yourself through the whole thing thinking "is something going to happen at some point?" Then you go "Oh it's the end" grin

QueenThora Sun 02-Feb-14 21:55:19

I was shocked that Wuthering Heights was so pants, after all the build-up, I thought it was going to be a sweeping romantic tearjerker. Instead it's full of awful people, most of whom live in different time periods from each other, and completely lacks plot.

However I LOVE Frankenstein.

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Sun 02-Feb-14 21:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jellycake Sun 02-Feb-14 22:09:22

American Psycho was utterly vile, gave me nightmares and made me feel unclean for having read it. Only bought it because it was recommended in Waterstones...

MrsKoala Sun 02-Feb-14 22:12:24

I loved American Psycho. It's the only B.E.E. book i've enjoyed tho.

War and Peace.
Moby Dick.

jellycake Sun 02-Feb-14 22:15:43

Dr Sleep- Stephen King was a huge fan when I was younger, loved the Dark Tower series. Read the one about JFK which I thought was great and then started this one before Xmas and have had to give up. Just can't get into it and find it quite disturbing.

JennyCalendar Sun 02-Feb-14 22:15:52

I adored Wuthering Heights as an angsty 15 yr old. I have no patience for any of the characters now and, unless it becomes a set text, I doubt I'll read it again.

I second Orlando as another book I suffered through.

Can I also add Tom Jones by Henry Fielding? A jolly romp interrupted by a God awful and interminable spell with the man on the fucking hill. Worse than the diversion to Tom Bombadil in LotR.

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 02-Feb-14 22:17:44

Has anyone mentioned Gone Girl yet? God I wanted them to end for both of them in a suicide pact I was that desperate for it all to be over.

guinnessgirl Sun 02-Feb-14 22:20:44

Arrrrgggh, On Chesil Beach! So disappointed and let down by the end. That remains the only book I've ever thrown at the wall with sheer frustration. FFS, TALK TO EACH OTHER.

FloppyRagdoll Sun 02-Feb-14 22:21:36

Quite a few of the books mentioned above ring nasty bells with me. However, American Psycho is the only book I have ever destroyed, rather than give away. Though I did delete 50 Shades from my Kindle, now that I think about it.

My book club has been running since 1996 or thereabouts, meeting monthly. Only once in all that time have all 8 of us said, "This book is so crap, let's ditch it." That was Thomas Pynchon's "Mason and Dixon." I still resent the space that its 784 pages take up on my bookcase, but I haven't yet found anyone prepared to give it a home.

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 02-Feb-14 22:22:06

Also agree:

The Slap - just shite couldn't finish it.

Jodie Picoult stuff - so depressing, get dragged down by the shitness of her characters lives.

The Secret History - what a disappointment, bought it on my kindle after reading The Goldfinch. What a sodding crappy story, thought Goldfinch ace though.

Adeleh Sun 02-Feb-14 22:26:23

Ulysses - hated it, yet felt I should have read it.

Loved some of the hated books here though - like An Equal Music and The Mill on the Floss.

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 02-Feb-14 22:26:46

Damediazepam- just scrolled down and see you hate the exactly the same ones as me! Feel free to recommend me a good book, am on the search as have just finished the Goldfinch. smile

Dubjackeen Sun 02-Feb-14 22:29:06

Fought my way through The Book Thief and Room. Didn't enjoy either of them. Didn't even manage to get through The Time Traveller's Wife. Started it a few times, and just couldn't get into it at all.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 02-Feb-14 22:31:47

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

it was so so boring, overly descriptive, the same tedious story could have been told in less than half of the what was written

it was such a relief to finish it

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 22:32:48

Lorna Doone
Larkrise to Candleford
The Secret History
London Fields
Never Let Me Go

halfwildlingwoman Sun 02-Feb-14 22:33:08

Oh, I hated The Island! So badly written. Also hate Sons and Lovers. Stupid whining fool.
I really disliked Atonement, especially the sex scene, but in the film Joe Wright made it fabulous.
I hated all the characters in The Slap and in Gone Girl, but found them engaging reads.
I couldn't finish Labyrinth. Boring. And the second David Peace was too relentlessly grim to complete.
There is a Mo Hayder book called The Treatment . I wish I had never read it. I hate her for putting those images in my mind. I enjoy detective fiction and don't mind a bit of gore, but she poisoned my mind and I can't forgive that.

I think The Road is profoundly affecting and beautifully written. I read Love in the time of cholera because I loved One Hundred Years Of Solitude but found Cholera to be a justification for paedophilia.

fivefourtime Sun 02-Feb-14 22:34:06

Lord of the F***ing Rings

Enduring Love - I'm kind of glad that horrifically cold couple ended up being stalked by a weirdo, NO sympathy for the characters whatsoever

Most Terry Pratchett... it's just not as funny as I was told it is.

Man and Boy by Tony F***ing Parsons

My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle

grumpyoldbat Sun 02-Feb-14 22:35:26

Pere Goriot. I hated it.

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 22:37:01


I was given a present of the paperback and the DVD of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo at the same time.

The film isn't bad. Unfortunately I gave it away and kept the tedious book.

bialystockandbloom Sun 02-Feb-14 22:37:53

Have recently skipped chapters ploughed through Daniel Deronda. God that was hard going, and he ended up with the dull woman.

AS Bayatt Possession - turgid pretentious boring waffle. Didn't even attempt to make myself finish it.

bialystockandbloom Sun 02-Feb-14 22:38:53

Agree about Secret History - really overrated.

scottishmummy Sun 02-Feb-14 22:39:06

I've attempted many and hated many Ian mcewan pretentious,over described,shallow characterisation

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 22:41:33


I just went 'Arrgh!' and woke my cat up.

It's just that I agreed with your opinion of Enduring Love.

Can I add the similarly badly researched, cynical shitty shitfest Birdsong to that?

I haven't read the thread but I'm sure others have beaten me to it.

scottishmummy Sun 02-Feb-14 22:45:15

I give allmy doozey books away,charity shop or pals
Kite runner was dire

Megrim Sun 02-Feb-14 22:46:53

halfwildlingwoman that's the Mo Hayder book I started, and found it very distasteful very quickly, so I'm now glad I ditched it quickly.

Shelbury Sun 02-Feb-14 22:49:45

Halfwilding I couldn't agree more re TheTreatment, it's without doubt the most disturbing book I've ever read. It must be at least 12 years and I still have those horrible images burnt into my brain.

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Sun 02-Feb-14 22:52:30

As a teenager I ploughed on for what felt like years reading Lord Of The Rings.

I got half way through the 2nd book and thought Jesus Fucking Christ life is way too short for this pile of shite

I haven't watched the films either, the very thought makes me want to lie down and have a little snooze smile

Busyoldfool Sun 02-Feb-14 23:01:21

Famished Road - kept trying and failing. Also The Island of the Day Before - just cannot do it!

Shenanagins Sun 02-Feb-14 23:03:36

For me nothing comes close to my hatred for The Secret History, it was truly awful. Even after a few years later i still get annoyed for wasting my life on that shite.

ProfessorSkullyMental Sun 02-Feb-14 23:05:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:06:52

I don't actively hate Lord of the Rings (apart from the Tom Bombadil interlude and the scouring of the Shire which obviously no right thinking person could endure)

But the plot is rubbish. Sauron has his enormous orc army which is defeated by a couple of hobbits a dwarf and an elf. And Gandalf could have asked the huge eagley bird to drop the ring into wherever it was dropped right from the beginning.

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 23:09:24

bialystockandbloom I like Possession.

Don't hurt me. grin

I took it into hospital ages ago and stalled about a third of the way through, not least because I had really gloomy news, but the extensive poetry didn't help.

Then it turned into very good news (after a week of gloom the doctors said overnight: 'You're not dying, you can go home tomorrow') and I was so happy I read the rest of the book in one night in euphoria.

I'm sure I pissed off the woman in the next bed with my reading light but she didn't say anything. I truly bless her.

I have a snoring cat next to me as I type. It's probably not the same deal.

It really shouldn't have won the Booker but you can see why I have a soft spot. grin

And I do genuinely love the ending to the Victorian part of the tale, which I'm not going to spoil for anyone else.

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 23:14:46

Busyoldfool I've just finished a post, read yours and went 'Arrghh'.

No, I never finished The Famished Road either.

Can I add The English Patient?

I went through a horribly pretentious Booker Prize phase in the '90s.

Caitlin17 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:16:24

I loved Possession the first time I read it and hated it the second, but I agree the ending of the Victorian story is lovely.

Mimishimi Sun 02-Feb-14 23:16:53

I don't plough through books I hate. I stop reading them.

Jackthebodiless Sun 02-Feb-14 23:19:08

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. So disappointed as I loved The Secret History.

Hated Her Fearful Symmetry too.

Adeleh Sun 02-Feb-14 23:31:54

Possession is wonderful. I think it really did deserve the Booker.
Can't be doing with Lord of the Rings though.
And didn't get on with The Famished Road.
And someone told me I'd love Atonement, and I really didn't at all.
But Ulysses still the absolute worst, by far.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 02-Feb-14 23:35:25

I had to read Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai for my book club: pretty cover - it won the Man Booker prize.....and I hated every miserable last page of it.

Some of the writing was quite beautiful - then I had to read and re-read because I didnt have a bloody clue what she was talking about. I struggled to like any of the characters (although I felt sorry for a couple of them) and the open prejudice and bigotry of the Indian characters I found disturbing.

Turns out I was the only person in the club to finish it as everyone else hated it too.

limitedperiodonly Sun 02-Feb-14 23:50:17

I loved Cold Mountain for the same reasons I liked Possession but more.

I was reading the end in the fading light at a bus stop one damp November and someone said: 'That must be a really good book.'

I didn't realise I was that much of a drama queen until this thread. grin

I love Cold Mountain and I've only read it once because I lent it someone and never got it back. sad

Lovecat Mon 03-Feb-14 00:03:57

Possession is one of my favourite books. I like quite a lot of the books mentioned here (Tractors in the Ukraine, 100 yr old Man, We need to Talk About Kevin etc.).

I couldn't finish the Famished Road, I barely got 30 pages into it, despite repeatedly trying.

The Great Gatsby - a friend lent it to me about 10 years ago, I keep trying to return it but he won't let me til I finish it because 'it's so good!' - no, no it's not, it's badly written tripe about boring, dull people I don't care about!

Ulysses - I so desperately wanted to like this, I bought it after hearing an extract read on R4 a few years ago that was just wonderful, but it is such deathly dull nonsense when it's 'flat' on the page that I can't be doing with it. Perhaps I should buy an audiobook of it...

Anything by John Irving. I just don't get how the World According to Garp is meant to be funny. It's immensely sad and horrific (Ellen James? Funny??)

An Equal Music - I'd loved A Suitable Boy and really wanted to like this - but it was dull, dull, dull.

Anne Rice's Memnoch The Devil - I really liked her first few Vampire Chronicles but this one, I got to a certain point in it and was so physically and mentally repulsed by what happened that I threw it across the room in a reflex action to get it away from me. If you've read it, you'll probably know the bit I'm talking about.

LatinForTelly Mon 03-Feb-14 00:15:24

Loved loved loved Wolf Hall and BUTB. And The Road. And lots mentioned here.

Worst book was five people you meet in heaven. My heart sank when I read the first paragraph. I had to finish it for book club. Like reading a 200 page Hallmark card inscription. Dire.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 00:18:34

Lovecat did you read or like The Children's Book?

I really did plough through it. It took me almost three years in total because I got bored but usually once I've started something I'm going to finish or die.

I finished it this summer because the weather was lovely and I had two days in the park. If it had been rainy it would probably still be on the shelf.

I took so long over it I can't tell you what I thought of it except that it took a very long time to reach WWI and then it romped home.

It's probably best that I'm not a book reviewer.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 00:25:00

Also lovecat I love A Widow For One Year by John Irving. I've read loads of his books, but that's the only one I like. But I only really like the first third. The rest of it turns into a murder-mystery potboiler which is okay, but only a bit.

Though as a woman of a certain age, I do admire the way he admires women of a certain age.

Lovecat Mon 03-Feb-14 00:34:03

=D Can't say I have, Limited I hated Garp so much, then was persuaded to try A Prayer For Owen Meany by a housemate who kept laughing aloud reading it. HATED it. So no more JI for me, unless I literally have nothing else to read (and I'm talking cereal packets here).

The Children's Book sounds great from the Amazon review, but if it took you that long, perhaps I'll give it a swerve... confused I do like her Frederica Potter novels and I loved The Djinn In The Nightingale's Eye and Morpho Eugenia.

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 00:56:58

I recall being on a train pre - kindle days and finding the terms and conditions on the back of the ticket more riveting than the book I had with me,Peter Carey's The True History of the Kelly Gang.

Adeleh Mon 03-Feb-14 01:03:00

Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda didn't do much for me either. One of Jose books with a brilliant beginning, and then just about interesting enough to keep going, but overall pretty dull.

Motherinlawsdung Mon 03-Feb-14 01:12:34

The Unconsoled by Ishiguro. About a musician who has lost his memory. The book soon loses the plot and the reader feels as if they're losing their mind. It goes on and on and on and round and round in circles. Tedious beyond belief.

absoluteidiot Mon 03-Feb-14 01:24:50

The Road.

I'm thinking "Kill the kid already!"

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Mon 03-Feb-14 01:30:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Motherinlawsdung Mon 03-Feb-14 01:39:43

Also agree that The Slap was terrible. I threw it away when I had finished it, as it represented such a waste of my time. I hated it. And Paul Coelho's The Alchemist is a pile of pretentious rubbish.

Welshwabbit Mon 03-Feb-14 07:03:19

Possession is fine. The Children's Book, on the other hand, is rubbish. The only book I can honestly say I struggled to finish is the mayor fof Casterbridge. Put me off Hardy for good.

minibmw2010 Mon 03-Feb-14 07:21:05

The new Bridget Jones, it's rubbish!!

Morgause Mon 03-Feb-14 07:23:35

The Name of the Rose - grim and dull
The Da Vinci Code - recommended by a so-called friend. Badly written tripe
Anything by George Eliot. Tedious.

LaTrucha Mon 03-Feb-14 07:25:47

Atonement. 400 pages of middle class tosh so that, as far as I can see, he could write one paragraph about authorial responsibility that must have come to him in the bath.

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 07:30:27

This has reminded me of many more.

I'm another who was scarred by The Treatment. I actually threw it away rather than charity-shop it as I didn't want anyone else to be traumatised by it.

Enduring Love - dull, unlikeable characters who deserve each other, quite frankly.

Jude The Obscure. Like Hardy with a side helping of extra Hardy. "Because we are too menny" FFS. I threw that across the room too.

I remember being terribly disappointed by Wuthering Heights when I studied it for A level. Possibly my first exposure to the concept of a book I really wanted to like but didn't.

The Lovely Bones. Pretentious (and silly) wank.

Labyrinth. I know I read it but it was so turgid I've blanked any details about it from my memory, and I don't feel any regret about that.

I loved Wolf Hall though. Am just about to start re-reading it preparatory to reading BUTB for the first time.

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 07:31:38

Oh and - heresy - the His Dark Materials trilogy. I read them all, I wanted to like them but they just left me cold.

ChaircatMiaow Mon 03-Feb-14 07:39:59

The Wolf of Wall Street. Could not even finish it, what a hideous arse he was. And I would normally read anything.

Funnily enough though, I would maybe like to see the movie. Good lord, what is wrong with me? Am I that susceptible to advertising?! confused

KnockMeDown Mon 03-Feb-14 07:42:33

My offerings:-

On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Both sets of characters had absolutely nothing to endear them......

ThomasLynn Mon 03-Feb-14 07:56:04

The Handmaiden's Tale- Margaret Atwell. Finished it, was bored to tears the entire time.

Merry-go-round by the Sea. Can't remember the author, don't want to. 400 pages of total wank, all about growing up in country WA and how hot Geraldton is in the summer.
If I'd wanted to know about growing up in country WA I would have asked one of the other boarders who was from the bush (so, er, 98% of them), not read a tedious, tedious book. Year 11 English, how I hated you.

Sillybillybob Mon 03-Feb-14 07:56:54

Omg! The Handmaid's Tale is my absolute favourite book! It's outstanding!

LottieJenkins Mon 03-Feb-14 07:57:46

Wild Swans........ I got as far as the footbinding and no further!

Sillybillybob Mon 03-Feb-14 07:59:28

Lottie I'm not sure that counts as ploughing through a book grin

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 08:13:34

I'm with Sillybillybob, The Handmaid's Tale is a brilliant book. Deffo in my Top Ten Favourite Books Ever list.

pointythings Mon 03-Feb-14 08:29:30

There are loads, but so far my absolute winner has to be Dean Koontz's 77 Shadow Street. He's been going downhill ever since he turned into a conspiracy theory Tea Party loon, but that book has decided me never to read anything new of his ever again.

The Millenuim trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc). I loved the stories but they were hard work to read because of the dire use of language. They just didn't flow well, bad sentence structure IMO. I only hope this was due to them being translated from Swedish rather than the author's fault.

I'm with you on Cloud Atlas.

Shantarum - egotistical pile of shit. Got to the child market bit and threw the fucking thing at the wall wanting to throttle the bastard that wrote it for being so casual about what he was describing. I later shredded the fucking book, such was my rage.

The latest Bridget Jones one was esp bad.

Sophie's world - how I finished that, I don't know

kmc1111 Mon 03-Feb-14 08:55:37

The Bride Stripped Bare. I had that nails on a chalkboard feeling the entire time I was reading.

desertmum Mon 03-Feb-14 09:05:11

I was disappointed by The Kite Runner too - but loved A Thousand Splendid Suns - an awesome book I thought.

BankWadger Mon 03-Feb-14 09:16:04

Pinkerton's sister. I still can't believe I forced myself to finish it.

Any Harry Potter book.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 09:17:29

I like The Djinn In The Nightingale's Eye too lovecat. As welshrabbit says the Children's Book is terrible. She must have done loads of research for it and put it all in so you find yourself reading great long descriptions of the founding of the Fabian Society.

That was one of the many things I hated about Enduring Love - tedious facts. Sebastian Faulks is another one for that.

Oh, Alias Grace and The True History of the Kelly Gang. It has hardly any punctuation in it which I think is supposed to be a device because Ned Kelly is supposed to be writing it. It just makes reading it even more of a chore.

ProfessorSkullyMental Mon 03-Feb-14 09:21:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 09:27:33

Oh I love Alisa Grace, limited. But then I'm an Atwood fan in general.

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 09:28:28

Alias Grace (Alisa being her long-lost sister, obviously grin )

Primadonnagirl Mon 03-Feb-14 09:56:49

I don't persevere with bad books usually as I reckon the authors don't deserve my attention! However these have all made me think wtf?!
The Slap
The TT Wife
Gone Girl
Catcher in the Rye
Catch 22
Any Jane Austen shite
Wolf Hall
Incident of the dog thingy
Brick Lane
White Teeth
Captain Corellis fiddle

But I am an avid reader though honest!! Sometimes I just think the "hype" gets to me so if I'm not wowed when I've been told I will be I will get annoyed...

Dwerf Mon 03-Feb-14 10:07:24

Another vote here for:

The Road (when does the plot start? And why don't they have names ffs)
The Shack (tedious shite)
The Zahir - actually reading this now and will probably finish it but I can see already why his wife left the pretentious twat
A Prayer For Owen Meany (boring)
Tangled Lives (nice idea, way to make drama as banal and tedious as possible)

and nominations for
Don't Let Me Go by Susan Hill (y'know, I don't think horrific child abuse and chicklit are good bedfellows)
Almost Moon by Alice Seabold. (totally unsympathetic towards any of the characters)

squoosh Mon 03-Feb-14 10:47:03

I loved Alias Grace too.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 11:02:21

SelectAUserName I'm not an Atwood fan, and I really have given it a go.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 11:13:59

God, how could I have forgotten Never Let Me Go?

I kept thinking: 'Why don't you just run away?'

Fans have tried to make excuses but I'm not having it.When I finished it I left it on the beach to be consumed by the tide as my own symbolic protest.

I prefer The Island - the silly Ewan McGregor/Scarlett Johansson film. If that makes me shallow...

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Mon 03-Feb-14 11:25:57

In a perverse way I'm intrigued now as to how The Slap ended. Anyone who managed to finish it care to give me the potted version?

Thumbwitch Mon 03-Feb-14 11:32:00

kerala - I'm with you on Charles Dickens! Except that I haven't read A Christmas Carol, only Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, and the latter of those was a child's abridged copy, which I read twice but still lost the plot after the Miss Havisham section so don't really have much idea what happened.
I keep thinking I should try David Copperfield, but really just CBA.
And I did try Pickwick Papers, since it was considered "so funny" in Little Women, but it's dull as ditchwater.

I would completely disagree that "We need to talk about Kevin" got any better. It didn't. Yeah, it resolved the story, but better? Nah.

Misspixietrix Mon 03-Feb-14 11:32:55

Hated Fifty Shades and Gone Girl. Couldn't get passed the shit writing in it and didnt finished reading. Gone Girl (I wanted to slap the woman who's name I couldn't care to remember).

Misspixietrix Mon 03-Feb-14 11:34:17

*past sorry phone making me look thick. my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Sillybillybob Mon 03-Feb-14 11:34:47

Stunts I finished The Slap.

Quite enjoyed it (I seem to fly in the face of the opinion on this thread!) but am afraid I can't remember what happened at the end.

<pointless post> grin

TulipOHare Mon 03-Feb-14 11:37:56

You know, I finished The Slap (although I was hate-reading by then) but I can't remember what happened either. The only impression it left on me was rage blush

SpaceIsBig Mon 03-Feb-14 11:40:49

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Won the Pulitzer Prize. I found it so dull, I felt like I was being preached at.

Also second Shantaram, and the Unlikely Pilgrammage of Harold Frye. Utter tosh.

I do quite like a bit of Dickens though

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 11:41:05

Another one who can't remember what happened in The Slap.

SlimJiminy Mon 03-Feb-14 11:50:11

The Notebook. What an absolute load of utter bollocks that was.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 03-Feb-14 11:55:46

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick S�skind made me really angry, I hated it all the way through but it had the worst ending ever.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez. I literally threw the book across the room at the ending of that!

The Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory, I normally love her books but this one was just foul.

HopeClearwater Mon 03-Feb-14 12:02:12

This is a wonderful thread!

Gilead and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson are still sitting reproachfully on my shelves. I've tried them both, twice each. What am I missing? How do they regularly end up on 'Best Ever Novels' lists?

I keep these books for years because I've bought them new. Perhaps I need to stick to the library in future.

SpaceIsBig Mon 03-Feb-14 12:08:38

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has trouble with Gilead... I did feel bad about it, but cannot bring myself to try again.

I'll vote for Love in the time of Cholera too, which managed to be duller than One hundred Years of solitude. So many people love Garcia Marquez though...

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 12:14:20

I've never managed to finish London Fields. I got about two thirds through and thought: 'fuck it. This is really annoying.'

RawShark Mon 03-Feb-14 12:16:24

Anything by:
Jodi picault
Dh Lawrence (pompous)
Celia aherne (very badly written)
The slap -read a chapter (yawn)
Tony parsons (self indulgent crap, which my husband insists on buying and keeping on MY bookshelf even though he has never finished one)
Ben Elton
Read first chapter of love in the time of cholera, about two years ago so probably not qualified to comment

For calibration I like most things by Margaret Atwood, Neil gaiman and enjoyed wolf hall, enduring love and game of thrones. Stoner has been sat on my bedside table for a year....

Thumbwitch Mon 03-Feb-14 12:18:41

Oh I also hate the Woman who spent a year in bed or whatever - it was just crap. The ending was unbelievably crap.

TeacakeEater Mon 03-Feb-14 12:23:01

True History of the Kelly Gang, I ploughed through it, cursing the author, because I was interested in the real story. To be honest most Booker / Man Booker prize winners that I've started I've not finished apart from Hilary Mantel's books and Midnight's Children (Did that win? I read it when it first came out and loved it, don't know what I'd think now.)

I read the Slap, no characters were likeable so I can't remember much!

I ploughed through one Julian Barnes set on the flipping Ark because I'd wasted a bit of my student grant on it and I was determined to get my money's worth. I've avoided his books ever since. In fact it caused such a reaction within me, poor penniless soul that I was, that I vowed to never waste my money on anything less than a hundred years old again!

I mostly stopped "ploughing on" as I grew up so I only have bad memories of a couple of chapters of Birdsong. (A forced loan from a friend).

I love Dickens - I skip bits of Pickwick. I reread a Christmas Carol in December waiting for my kid to do a sport masterclass, it made me laugh and cry in the corridor of the municipal sports hall!

ThomasLynn Mon 03-Feb-14 12:24:39

Have to put in a vote for anything written by Paul Coelho. My mum gave me a collection of his books for a birthday, and told me they were fantastic.
Fantastically shit, yes.

I gave up on The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall. It was just...slow. I'll try again though, it's very well written.

RawShark Mon 03-Feb-14 12:26:30

teacake eater yes yes I forgot Julian Barnes . Annoying entitled middle class bore characters, and I probably am a middle class bore myself!

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 12:36:25

True History of the Kelly Gang, I ploughed through it, cursing the author

Yes, yes, yes teacake. I cursed Ned Kelly too. Surely he wasn't that much of an adjectival prig?

I tried Flaubert's Parrot. I didn't get it. Must be thick.

Birdsong is one of my most hated books. Possibly the most hated. Someone at work asked if I'd read it and unleashed an epic rant from me about every single little thing in it that annoyed me.

Eventually I stopped and she said quietly: 'I just thought was a nice love story.'

Poor woman blush

wildfig Mon 03-Feb-14 12:46:14

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. One of those endlessly slow-moving stories, with chapter after chapter of detailed description of foliage and architecture and 'atmosphere', where you think, well, there has to be a twist coming at some point. And then you turn the final page and realise that the twist was that there was no fecking twist.

TeacakeEater Mon 03-Feb-14 12:46:32

Birdsong (well the chapters I read!) seemed a rip off of Stendhal's The Scarlet and the Black.

Quangle Mon 03-Feb-14 12:48:53

I tried with Marilynne Robinson too. I read Home. So utterly boring I couldn't finish it. When I gave it up it was like being set free.

But I did love Possession -skipped the poetry bits--

maparole Mon 03-Feb-14 12:53:00

Another book which made me livid was Love Life, bu Ray Kluun.

My dearest friend bought it for me as a "just because" present, so I had to pretend to rave about it.

HenriettaMaria Mon 03-Feb-14 12:54:38

Jude The Obscure. Like Hardy with a side helping of extra Hardy.

Select That is brilliant, it really made me laugh. I know exactly what you mean. grin

Can't abide Hardy - with the possible exception of Under the Greenwood Tree. He was a miserable old bugger most of the time.

5Foot5 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:07:24

Interesting thread!

Personally I loved the 100 year old man, I genuiney found it hilarious.
I also quite like the Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine
Ditto Own Meaney
Ditto Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
Ditto The Girl with the dragon Tattoo

BUT I was also annoyed by One Day and Gone Girl
Could never get past the first half of the first book of Lord of the Rings

The most recent one I persevered with but wished I hadn't was Prep by Curtis Sittingfield.The main character wanted a good shake. I was just so frustrated by her - I kept hoping she would eventually improve and she just didn't

FlatFacedArmy Mon 03-Feb-14 13:08:33

Wow. I've read (and hated) almost all of the books mentioned on this thread. Apart from Cloud Atlas which I enjoyed and the Time Traveler's Wife, which I LOVE and have re-read twenty times (not a fan of Her Fearful Symmetry though).

I no longer feel so bad about having more or less dropped reading as a hobby once DS was born in favour of mumsnet. I can see from this thread that I was wasting a metric fuckton of hours on books that were So Not Worth It.

Particular demerits go to:
The Post-Birthday World (Lionel Shriver)
The Finkler Question
Saturday (Ian McEwan)

Three of the biggest regrets of my reading history.

SpaceIsBig Mon 03-Feb-14 13:10:17

Yes yes to Birdsong. I've only recently got round to reading it, and had it down as one of those "must read" classics. I cannot for the life of me understand what all the fuss is about - it's so highly thought of it's on GCSE syllabuses (I think) - just why?

It really is quite liberating to be able to say these things!

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:13:21

Under the Greenwood Tree is lovely. It must be the only one where no one dies. I like The Trumpet Major as well and recall the bit where they thought the French had invaded as being quite funny.

This might be sacrilege but I've found all of Margaret Atwood's novels "a long toil up a muddy field"

No recollection of how The Slap ended.

squoosh Mon 03-Feb-14 13:14:48

I too thought Bridsong was/is ridiculously overrated. Didn't care about Stephen, didn't care about his dull love story, didn't think the dual time line thingy worked. The only story line in the book that moved me was that of his friend Weir.

Ubik1 Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:14

Oh I loved Birdsong

Hated The Lovely Bones, mawkish. And We Need to Talk Abgout Kevin - hated it, skipped loads, felt it was trite.

ShoeWhore Mon 03-Feb-14 13:16:48

Oh I loved Birdsong. And Saturday.

YY to Corelli (yawn) though and the Slap (hysterical nonsense), Gone Girl (utterly ridiculous ending), One Day (mawkish). Also The Casual Vacancy - there's a few hours of my life I'll never get back (felt I had to finish that as the dcs had bought it for me! Grrr.)

I'm having a clear out at the moment and giving lots of books I have started, hated and then kept cause I thought I should give them another try, to the charity shop - it's incredibly cathartic!

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 13:28:22

Anything at all by Thomas Hardy. Had to read Jude the Obscure for A level and have hated his work ever since. It's kind of tied in for me with how he treated his wives.

I did read his biography by Claire Tomalin in the hope I would find some redeeming features, but no.

There's a book by Jo Brand which I picked up thinking it would be a good read that turned out to be an apologia for DV (among other things). If it hadn't been a library book I would have thrown it across the room and shredded it!

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 13:31:32

The girl with the dragon tattoo - yy to the super studly hero which was clearly thinly veiled wish fulfillment by the author. And what was with the endless descriptions of technology?

That book needed some serious editing. Not awful but not in the same class as (say) Henning Mankell.

BringMeTea Mon 03-Feb-14 13:33:15

I am much better at putting aside shite books in a 'life is too short' kind of way.
However, i forced my way through the execrable Shantaram. It was long. Mind you it got to the point where I was enjoying reading out the sex scenes to whoever happened to be around. Now they were funny. People rave about this book. Why?

mollygibson Mon 03-Feb-14 13:34:17

Haven't read the whole thread yet but YANBU about Her Fearful Symmetry! There are no words to describe how much I loathed that book!

I rarely finish books that I hate but another one was something by Paulo Coellho - I can't remember which one but a boyfriend at the time gave it to me and kept asking if I had read it, so felt obliged to do so. Nothing happened! They just drove around Spain and talked for 300 pages! I am getting annoyed just thinking about it!

SusanneLinder Mon 03-Feb-14 13:41:24

Anything by Martina Cole. They used to be great but now she puts in gratuitious violence for the sake of it.

LOTR books-pages of trees singing! I usually prefer the books to the films, but not in this case!

ProfondoRosso Mon 03-Feb-14 13:44:11

That book needed some serious editing

I have to agree, flippinada. I like Mankell because he's very economical with detail and dialogue - just the right amount to pack an emotional punch.

All the Girl with... books felt too long and repetitive to me. Larsson seemed to be a great, brave journalist, but perhaps that intellectual rigour and researcher's sense of the importance of amassing every detail didn't translate too well into fiction, for me anyway.

Lilka Mon 03-Feb-14 13:46:28

I tried Tampa (Alice Nutting) recently because I read good reviews, and.....just no. All the stupid similes and metaphors and flowery language, nobody genuinely thinks like that. It didn't even make sense. I got a couple of chapters in and skimmed the rest to see what happened, but couldn't read it all properly. Far too annoying

Lilka Mon 03-Feb-14 13:47:31

Sorry, Alissa not Alice

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 13:47:35

Yep, Tolkien was very fond of the old purple prose. And god-awful songs (I read the Hobbit to DS last year).

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 13:49:30

That's exactly why I like Mankell, Profondo. He says so much with so little.

Single White E-mail. Totally awful and so predictable yet I was compelled to keep going to see whether I was right or not.

Gave up about halfway through in the end because it was taking forever to get to the point and the damn main character was so CLUELESS. I skipped to the end and then proclaimed myself right grin

halfwildlingwoman Mon 03-Feb-14 14:06:58

Errmmm, I think the ending of The Slap was that the teenage girl, who was so badly let down by every single fucking adult in her life, found herself by taking drugs at a festival. That's the last thing I remember.

DoctorTwo Mon 03-Feb-14 14:10:09

I used to buy the Booker/Man Booker priize winner every year and the only one I've ever finished and thought 'I'd read that again' (the ultimate compliment for a book, I think) was Vernon God Little. I have re-read it a couple of times since, and the lengths Vernon goes to to ensure everybody in his life is justly rewarded always makes me smile.

squoosh Mon 03-Feb-14 14:12:16

John Banville's The Sea


TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 03-Feb-14 14:26:01

hackmum, are you in my book club? <suspicious> I also loathed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I stayed up all sodding night reading it and then read more on the way to work before the book club lunch and it was dire.

Also The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window or whatever it's called. That was the first book picked for out book club and we all hated it.

Shopaholic shite - somehow I have read a number of these and she just gets worse and worse. The lies! The pointless, pointless lies! Why can she never tell her husband what she's playing at? Honestly!

OP - spoiler alert! I don't despise Her Fearful Symmetry but I was massively disappointed. And the basic premise is Sweet Valley High - the twins have a mystical bond! They can feel when the other is hurt! And they sleep in the same bed, for god's sake! I am a twin and I was really annoyed that an author I had rated so highly after TTW was peddling the same hackneyed shite about twins. Oh, and the twin switch thing - the wrong twin gets pg so goes and lives with the bloke and then leaves the kids behind and swaps lives with her sister - what? And the bloke knew all along but never said anything - double what?

thepiggotupandslowlywalkedaway Mon 03-Feb-14 14:32:42

Confessions of a Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman.

I swear I have never willingly hurt a book. Until I read this one. I gave it to my nine-month-old son to 'play' with, so that no-one else would have to suffer it.

She's utterly useless, but that's OK because she never deals with anything, just gets husband to pay for someone to deal with it for her. Oh no, someone got mugged near them in Islington. What to do? A page of dithering. Phew, they've barely escaped with their lives to Dulwich.

anonacfr Mon 03-Feb-14 15:02:05

Speaking of books I remember a colleague of mine announcing proudly that the only book she'd read since leaving school was the first Harry Potter.
I was a little hmm

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 15:29:06

I've just remembered another book which annoyed me. Don't recall the title, it was about a single mum and was marketed as a "chick-lit" type read, so I wasn't expecting anything highbrow, just something light and enjoyable.

It was absolute tripe and full of ludicrous contrivance. She caught her husband in bed with someone else (so far so unremarkable). But then, she lives next door to her best friend who provides free childcare for her adorable toddler on tap at the drop of a hat. Then she gets a great new job (despite having no work experience) with a hunky male boss who fancies her and they end up dating! Then a gorgeous single dad (plot device alert) moves in next door (the other side), although they are just friends! Even though they secretly fancy each other! And then there's a mishap involving their adorable toddlers and sexy single dad comes to the rescue! Then her husband realises he's made a terrible mistake and wants her back!

I bet you can't possibly guess the ending hmm .

DoctorTwo Mon 03-Feb-14 15:36:27

I bet you can't possibly guess the ending

They get beaten to death with a copy of the book?

squoosh Mon 03-Feb-14 15:38:41

That sounds like the plot of most chick lit books to be honest.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 15:40:33

TeacakeEater My mouth dropped open at that. The Scarlet and Black is one of my favourite books.

So clever and funny.

But I never noticed the Birdsong rip-off before. So not clever and funny.

Yes, you're right.

TeacakeEater Mon 03-Feb-14 15:44:36

Thank you for the validation!

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 15:45:11

There was a dog in Birdsong that I liked. She died. Best thing all round really.

superlambanana Mon 03-Feb-14 15:49:23

A Tiny Bit Marvellous. Being by Dawn French and having good reviews, no.1 best seller etc I thought I'd like it. It's annoyingly written (eg appallingly way off the mark way of writing in supposedly teenage voices) and just not very good. I have ploughed through most of it thinking it might et better, and I'll finish it now I've come this far, but feel a bit like that's a few hours of my life I won't get back...

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:25:54

flippinada a I'm sure that's an India Knight book, possibly Hen's Dancing? Stupid cover with someone wearing a ballgown and wellies.

HenriettaMaria Mon 03-Feb-14 16:35:49

anonacfr That reminds me of a girl I was at school with. A level student (including Eng Lit) planning to go to university, very bright girl - she said that she had never read a book that wasn't for school.

I was a bit shock that she saw reading as a chore. I guess that, for some people, reading isn't something that they do for fun.

Greydog Mon 03-Feb-14 16:38:31

Got to agree with the poster Badbelinda who destroyed American Pyscho - one of the nastiest little books I've ever come across. didn't finish it, tore it up and put it in the recycling. It should be toilet paper. Didn't finish Wolf Hall - utter tripe. Loathed the Game of thrones stuff (only read half the 1st book) - and I detest anything by Thomas Hardy! especially Tess of the bloody d'urbervilles!

rookiemater Mon 03-Feb-14 16:43:56

Oh yes superlambanana - I had the misfortune of ploughing my way through a Dawn French book as well, my SIL gave it to me for Christmas.

Once I read it through I was plagued by the thought that either she a) thought that I liked DF - I don't, never have, hated Vicar of Dibley or b) had read it herself and thought it was a good read.

It wasn't, it was truly horrible, only published because of her name. Hateful as I try to write in my spare time, I can't say I'm any good, but can churn out better than that dross.

bluebump Mon 03-Feb-14 16:47:39

I loved Birdsong, and Shadow of the Wind. I didn't mind One Day in book form, the film however - terrible.

I never did finish On Beauty, I lent it to my sister and she gave up on it too. I hated Her Fearful Symmetry, just dire but I did actually finish it. I also didn't like one of the Donna Tartt books but I can't remember which.

wildfig Mon 03-Feb-14 17:38:12

Hens Dancing is by Raffaella Barker - I think it's meant to be a bit tongue in cheek? Or at least that's how I read it...

Twilight was also very very annoying. I read it under the impression that the author was 18, so was cutting her a lot of slack on the useless plot and the cliched language. Then I found out she was my age, and promptly retracted all my slack, faster than you can say twinkly vampire cheekbones.

MrsAMerrick Mon 03-Feb-14 17:50:41

The Hive. Absolute drivel. Can't believe I ploughed through it.

FootieOnTheTelly Mon 03-Feb-14 17:52:10

Yuk, even the title 'Hens Dancing' would be enough to put me off hmm

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 17:54:13

wildig yes of course it was. The Barker family has form for this sort of stuff. (We're so wacky and Bohemian and such free spirits) although Elspeth Barker's O Caledonia is pretty good as Scottish version of I capture the Castle.

I've never attempted Elizabeth Smart's version of the Barker ménage as she seems a monumental pita.

persimmon Mon 03-Feb-14 17:55:14

I hated the Time Traveller's Wife, thought it was twee and contrived.

Marrying the Mistress. Annoying, smug characters.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 18:02:16

DoctorTwo grin

squoosh yes, fair point.

caitlin I don't think that's the one. IIRC it was an Irish author, but not Marian Keyes. I realise there's quite a few to choose from...

While we're on Chicklit (I hate the phrase) I also hate the Shopaholic books. I think you are supposed to find her charmingly ditsy. Instead, she comes across as a remorseless sociopath (compulsive lying, runs up debts she has no intention of paying, shallow affect, lack of conscience) with an empty, empty soul.

Sneezecakesmum Mon 03-Feb-14 18:02:18

Hotel du lac

Won that literary prize

Total shite where NOTHING happened start to finish angry

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 18:12:29

wildfig Raffaella Barking-Mad used to write a column for the London Evening Standard nearly 30 years ago (yes, I am that old) where she'd trill about parties she'd been to in The London which was basically having spag bol and chianti round her mates' flats in Kensington and Chelsea.

Maybe a drop of Zinfandel if she was feeling racy.

I've lost count of the times we invited her round to ours in Walthamstow and Leyton.

She never replied.

Same with India Knight, who used to write The Diary of An Islington Housewife in the otherwise proly Today newspaper.

I do want to kill her.

If anyone, including India and her mates, want to complain about that I refer them to this Stewart Lee routine because I'm only joking

Sukebind Mon 03-Feb-14 18:16:27

This is All: Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers - creepy (in a sleazy way) intimate thoughts of a teenage girl (lots on masturbation, orgasms, losing virginity etc.) and self-indulgant stuff about poetry, meditation, etc. Then someone tries to rape her. Dreadful ending after ploughing through it - it's very, very long.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 18:20:27

Also...I feel a bit mean saying this, but I hated, hated, hated 'How to be a Woman' by Caitlin Moran.

The reasons I feel mean is because my lovely best friend (who really likes CM)bought it for me as a birthday present, and her taste is usually impeccable, so I feel I'm letting her down by not liking it.

Secondly, although I'm sure Caitlin Moran is a perfectly nice, rather intelligent woman I just cannot BEAR her self-conciously wacky persona and the irritating way she gurns in all her photos.

Megrim Mon 03-Feb-14 18:24:53

Absolutely agree with you flippinada about the Caitlin Moran book, absolute "look at me, look at me" (OK, I know it's an autobiography) drivel. My DH recommended it to me, couldn't get past the first chapter without wanting to kill her. Slowly.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 18:33:54

Thank you Megrim I feel a bit less guilty now!

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 18:36:24

Oh me too re Caitlin Moran. Not read the book but read a brief extract about the joys of lying in a hammock finger combing untrimmed pubic hair which was toe curlingly wacky.

Honestly however did we manage to be women before she enlightened us.

expatinscotland Mon 03-Feb-14 18:43:25

Perfume. It just got ridiculous.

expatinscotland Mon 03-Feb-14 18:50:34

Anything by Cecilia Ahren, who became a 'writer' because of who her father is, and it shows.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 18:51:17

I'd enjoy her writing so much more if she would just tone down the 'wacky bohemian' crap.

Having said that, it's made her wealthy so I don't imagine she'll stop doing it any time soon.

HenriettaMaria Mon 03-Feb-14 19:12:26

I've never attempted Elizabeth Smart's version of the Barker ménage as she seems a monumental pita.

By the Grand Central Station...? I read that years ago.
It was OTT, as I recall.

sherazade Mon 03-Feb-14 19:16:48

The English Patient
Twelve Tribes of Hattie

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 03-Feb-14 19:21:27

The French lieutenants woman. God that was painful to get through.

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 19:27:14

Whilst we're on wacky, Bohemian free spirits wafting around in ballgowns and wellies and Victorian nighties whose lack of money is no impediment to living in rambling but ramshackle farmhouses in Norfolk, crumbling castles in Scotland, faded palazzos in Italy or down at heel London townhouses in smart neighbourhoods is anyone else old enough to remember Lisa St.Aubin de Teran (or "Elsie Terrapin" as she whimsically called herself)?

She's mostly out of print now but you're not missing anything if you've not come across her.

Expectingtwins1975 Mon 03-Feb-14 19:53:22

The hare with the amber eyes - got it as a Xmas present - good god it was boring

Megrim Mon 03-Feb-14 19:53:47

Whilst I remember, I tried to work my way through Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying". Another one that hit the bin pretty quickly.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 20:04:22

Caitlin the name rings a bell but don't think I've read anything of hers. Isn't she one of those 'free-spirited' types who wafts round the world in privileged fashion having lots of marvellous adventures at someone else's expense?

JeanBodel Mon 03-Feb-14 20:05:54

'Jude The Obscure. Like Hardy with a side helping of extra Hardy.'
That is inspired. I am going to repeat that for the rest of my life.

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 20:11:30

On re-reading I notice some posters commenting on 'American Psycho'. I don't much about it but I know enough to know that I will never, ever read it.

Read some other BBE (Less than Zero, Glamourama, Rules of Attraction) and he is a talented writer but..the best way I can think of to describe him is that he writes very well about horrible people.

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Mon 03-Feb-14 20:46:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

trixymalixy Mon 03-Feb-14 20:49:05

Cloud Atlas and About a Boy are I think the only two books I have never finished.

Her fearful symmetry was very disappointing as I liked the Time Traveller's wife.

Someone else mentioned The Beach. I thought that was shit. Particularly so because my friend said something along the lines of "I think I get it because I've been to Thailand". Erm no, it was just shit and I hated all the characters.

limitedperiodonly Mon 03-Feb-14 20:52:42

I thought that Patrick Bateman was fantasising in American Psycho.

It was because in the interludes where he talks about Phil Collins and shoes and whatnot he makes mistakes.

<sad Phil Collins and Testoni geek>

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 20:53:12

snails, Just speaking for myself, but I am thinking of a particular scene that I know is in the book.

That is the reason I won't read it, whether it's cartoonish violence or not, as I know that once you have read something, you can't unread it.

Kazuo ishiguro, the unconsoled

Not a clue what it was about. Took weeks to read. Still none the wiser. Love all his other books!

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 21:10:38

And the Phil Collins of course..grin .

I've seen the film, which I think concentrated on the satire aspect and left out much of the more graphic violence.

BurnThisDiscoDown Mon 03-Feb-14 21:13:03

The English Patient - dull until the flashbacks, then both dull and annoying. I skipped ahead to the ending once I'd lost the will to keep reading, just in case there'd be some twist, or major reveal. No, still dull monotony. I cried because I was so very pissed off I'd wasted so many hours on it.

And Tess of the D'Urbervilles for the unrelenting misery.

Robinson Crusoe - the only book i've given up on, and i've read a LOT of books! blush

Holy feck it was boring.....

LindaMcCartneySausage Mon 03-Feb-14 21:16:27

I haven't scrolled through the whole thread to see if there are any MN kindred spirits, but I HATED The Pilots Wife or anything by Anita Shrieve. Novels by numbers written by someone who googles their real life locations. Dull similies everywhere

FootieOnTheTelly Mon 03-Feb-14 21:22:05

Couldn't stand the Lemony Snicket books. I read them to my DCs so I felt obliged to finish them. They weren't stories so much as a list of bad things....and then they nearly drowned, and then they nearly got run over, and then they got locked in a cupboard......yawn, yawn There was no story or character development. It least they were boring enough to make the kids to feel sleepy.

Stereolab Mon 03-Feb-14 21:27:42

Bridget Jones's Diary.

JustHowItIsToday Mon 03-Feb-14 21:29:41

Lord of the Flies, at school - hated it.

I resisted adding LofTFs as the thought of it makes want to type, many many swear words.

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 21:40:00

Oh flippinada, me too re that Caitlin Moran travesty. Similar in that I too had it recommended by a friend and I hated it so much we fell out over it.

All that rubbish about how Lady Gaga is a feminist icon like no other pop star before her...would that be the Lady Gaga with whom Moran had previously conducted a lengthy journalism-award-winning interview? She couldn't possibly be a teeny bit biased, could she?

SelectAUserName Mon 03-Feb-14 21:42:13

LindaMcCartneySausage I read The Red Tent by Shrieve and can remember literally nothing about it. Not the plot, not the characters, not the ending...nada. Zip. Zilch.

AnneWentworth Mon 03-Feb-14 21:42:53

I didn't finish:

Gone with the Wind (twice and over half way on one if those occasions)
The Crimson Petal and the White - 'clever' narratives piss me off. I did give up after reading the first 500 pages if the bloody 800 pages.

I do like Hardy, Dickens and like Love in the Time if Cholera and love Captain Corelli and all his other books but I attempted Corelli a couple if times before I loved it - laughed cried got angry.

I offer books I did finish but wish I hadn't:
White teeth
Brick lane - I felt like poking my eyes out
The Great Gatsby and Benjamin Button and the Jazz Age stories - fab American writers like Fitzgerald
Little Women - sorry just so twee, boring and they were all so annoying.

BlueSkySunnyDay Mon 03-Feb-14 22:04:33

I loved "Gone with the wind" I read it in a weekend when I was about 15. The Librarian at school said "you will never read all that" grin

I loved the Little Women stories too and have just put The great gatsby onto my kindle to read again grin but I am massively attracted to the "Jazz Age"

flippinada Mon 03-Feb-14 22:08:42

Heh....I maintain a diplomatic silence on the subject of Caitlin Moran. My friend thinks she's the bees knees.

Me & You by Claudia Carroll, I know of no other author who continually writes books where they use v constantly instead of very, horrible writing aside, I can't stand how all the characters are always perfect & flawless, no one is like that in real life.

The Real Katie Lavender by Erica James - thought the way the lead female revealed herself to long lost father was utterly selfish & just not something a sensible person would do in real life.

Sense & sensibility by Joanna Trollope - no. Just no. Jane Austen must be turning in her grave.

50 Shades of Grey - pathetic badly written porn (about as sexy as Bernard manning).

Oh yes and anything by Caitlin Moran - just shut the fuck up already, no one wants to hear about your first period... Yuck!!!

The God of Small Things is one of my all time favourite books . I never reread a book even if I've enjoyed it however I've read this twice!

I loved the descriptions and felt I could smell, feel, sense everything! It did take a while to grasp the flow of her writing style though.

I've also tried to read Anna Karenina twice and failed at a similar stage each time.

50 Shades is just embarrassing and try-hard.

Great Expectations, bored the pants off me

Catcher in the Rye was just odd, kept waiting for something to happen.

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Mon 03-Feb-14 22:39:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Caitlin17 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:45:56

I read Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina in my late teens, loved both books and was hugely sympathetic to Emma and Anna.

I re-read both of them in my mid thirties when I was the mother of a small child and wanted to slap the pair of them. Silly, shallow, vain and spoilt women neither of whom deserved their long suffering spouses.

Parrish Mon 03-Feb-14 22:48:16

Perfect by Rachel Joyce. Wanted to slap that boy hard. Gave up.

kelper Mon 03-Feb-14 23:05:52

We need to talk about Kevin. I was pregnant when I read this so it may have clouded my judgement slightly, but the description of a young Kevin freaked me out, and it's the only book I've ever thrown away.
The best exotic marigold hotel. This has the dubious honour of being the only book I've hated whilst loving the film! The book was nothing like the film, and I wish I hadn't bothered reading it!
The grapes of wrath. I finished this but I seriously struggled with it. Couldn't remember characters, plot lines, nada. Really couldn't get into it at all

HopeClearwater Mon 03-Feb-14 23:57:36

Well done to whoever mentioned By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. Utter, utter shite. So you're in a love triangle? Go and tell someone who cares! I want those two hours back.

There was someone (maybe Eric Morecambe?) who was asked if, looking back, they had any regrets, what they'd do differently if they had their time again... and the answer was 'I wouldn't read The Magus by John Fowles'. Summed it up perfectly for me.

joydevivre Tue 04-Feb-14 00:15:56

The pearl lowe autobiography. Ugh. Shoulda just meditated or sommat instead

SinisterBuggyMonth Tue 04-Feb-14 00:26:03

God loads!!!

Right - The Best a Man Can Get - can't remember who it's by. It's about a housewife who finds a porn video in her sons room and falls in love with him. And meets him. And they get married and move to France. Zilch conflict - dull.

War Crimes for the Home by Liz Jensen - the rest of the world internet reviewers seem to think the main character in this book is fun and feisty sympathy inspiring, I found her selfish, vain and vicious, the sort of person I would cross the street to avoid. But the ending made me feel physically sick, she commits probably the worst crime and everyone is "oh, you poor dear". I'm annoyed I ever read it!

Brick Lane I gave up on. The Historian I abandoned after it became apparent 200 pages in nothing really scary was going to happen.

Oh and Emily Barr - Into the Deep End, never waste a second on this book unless you are prepared to write an ending. The author couldn't be bothered to actually finish the story. Waste of print.

HopeClearwater Tue 04-Feb-14 00:40:52

<never waste a second on this book unless you are prepared to write an ending>

You could start a whole other thread on books that don't end properly. Or end in a stupid pretentious way. (Atonement; The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, for example).

absoluteidiot Tue 04-Feb-14 00:42:22

American novels are especially awful. Even the 'classic' ones like 'Moby Dick' read like very second rate bad novels by lesser 19thC European novelists. I loathed 'The Great Gatsby' when I was forced to read it at university. Just a load of pretentious, vacuous rich idiots farting around.

Tell you another overrated American writer - Donna Tartt. The Secret History is one I read when it came out as it was so hyped. Really nothing to it yet it whinged on for what felt like 6000 pages.

absoluteidiot Tue 04-Feb-14 00:46:43

Forgot to add 'Catcher In The Rye' -possibly the most brattish, irritating bit of teen wank ever written. Just want to punch the hero's lights out, for all the mithering on about the phoneyness of everyone and everything. Jesus Christ, is that the best you can do? Mind you, my friend taught American undergraduates Literature, and in one course she spent ages trying to make them understand the "Angry Young Men" writers of the 50s/60s. After a seminar or two she asked the students if they could name one of the Angry Young Men. One put his hand up and very earnestly offered "Charles Manson?"

SinisterBuggyMonth Tue 04-Feb-14 00:51:08

Hope I did!

Irritated by another Liz Jensen (will I ever learn)

Atleast I know not to bother with Gone Girl now....

SamHamwidge Tue 04-Feb-14 01:52:29

Yes stack of fuckers - had forgotten how godawful One Day was, I gave up halfway through.

Loved Girl with Dragon Tattoo but the two follow ups I couldn't finish. I'm afraid I just wasn't that interested in Lisbeth Salander and the first one wasn't primarily about her.

The Almost Moon
yy to Labyrinth - gave up

theQuibbler Tue 04-Feb-14 02:12:04

MIDDLEMARCH. Hands down the most irritating book I have ever read. And because I am clearly being punished for something, I have had to read and write essays on that damn book at least three times over the years at school/uni. It never got any more bearable.

glastocat Tue 04-Feb-14 02:36:03

Many many of these, but also special mentions for Heart of Darkness by Conrad, its only about a hundred pages long but fucking hell NOTHING HAPPENS. I also have a particular loathing for Paul Coelho after someone made me read Veronika decides to die and I spent the whole book wishing she would get on with it. And dont get me started on Cecilia Aherne, she gives me the rage.

I fucking hated On Chesil Beach too.

glastocat Tue 04-Feb-14 02:46:58

Linda Maccartneyssausage you are quite about Anita Shreve googling her locations! My mum threw one of her books accross the room (The Pilots Wife perhaps?) when the protagonist needed her passport to cross the Irish border. Errr, nope.

Oh and Dickens is shit hands back Eng Lit degree grin

SelectAUserName Tue 04-Feb-14 05:22:19

Dickens is, indeed, shit. All coincidence and melodrama.

TheFillyjonk Tue 04-Feb-14 06:54:17

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I read it as a class reader with my class, and I couldn't disguise my annoyance. Bruno's "innocence" just doesn't wash with me - it seems very patronising to children, and so very frustrating the way he cannot tune into what somebody right in front of him is saying. And though it would have been incredibly risky (though what chances did the prisoners really have?), as kids in my class kept pointing out, Shmuel could have gone under the fence.

flippinada Tue 04-Feb-14 07:06:18

I actually think the album reviews might finish me off Snails!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 04-Feb-14 07:10:19

Life Of Pi - I just couldn't finish reading it. I was really disappointed as everyone seemed to be going on about how good it was but I just found it really dull and in the end gave up.

At school I was made to read Wuthering Heights. I know it's a classic but I hated it! The two main characters are horrible and deserve a slap. Couldn't write that in my exam though.

RalphRecklessCardew Tue 04-Feb-14 07:11:30

100 years of solitude. Yes, I know.

maniacbug Tue 04-Feb-14 10:18:33

I do try to persevere with books, and sometimes it pays off (The Poisonwood Bible springs to mind). Out of the five books I can remember resolving decisively to abandon, three have already been mentioned (The Famished Road, Possession, The Road); the other two were Snow by Orhan Pamuk and Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth. Ugh, the latter makes me shudder just thinking about it.

(The Handmaid's Tale is one of my all-time favourites, though, and I also liked Never Let Me Go, Atonement and We Need to Talk about Kevin.)

Seems quite common to love one book by an author but be disappointed by subsequent efforts... My contribution here is Zoe Heller: I loved Notes on a Scandal but thought there was something really smug and boring about The Believers.

Caitlin17 I had almost exactly the same experience re. Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina! Was quite a shock to have my own teenage perceptions overturned. Not tragic or romantic - just irresponsible, needy and narcissistic, the pair of them.

BTW HenriettaMarie and anyone else who struggled with Anna Karenina - there are 2 new translations planned in the coming year or so, by Rosamund Bartlett in the UK and Marian Schwartz in the US. Very odd to have 2 translations of such a huge title out in such a short space of time... But might be worth looking out for one of those to give it another go?

absoluteidiot Tue 04-Feb-14 10:46:56

I second Heart of Darkness. Another one I was forced to read at uni, and absolutely nothing happens whatsoever in it. No interesting theme, either. Drab characters. A few years back, I wanted to do the Masters in English with the OU but all the books were so boring and worthy, I decided against it.

gotthemoononastick Tue 04-Feb-14 11:20:25

5o shades given to my60plus sister as a last minute present by her non fiction reading son.He heard the hype.

We ploughed through in horrified wonder and thought the male leading character needs to be in a secure institution at least....we are old!

Awkward (least said the better) thank you to the gift giver.

What the hell to do with it..,imagine church bazaar?
Nearly got done by nature cops for burning it in a suburb on another continent

So thankful that we are old and knew nothing about how sex should supposedly be in spite of decades of marriage.

Wish we could write something that a zillion sheep would read and be rich and famous.

CoteDAzur Tue 04-Feb-14 12:42:52

gotthemoon - That is one of the funniest posts I have ever read on MN grin Thank you! thanks

HenriettaMaria Tue 04-Feb-14 13:11:02

maniacbug Thanks for that, I'll check them out. Somebody also recommended the Pevear / Volokhonsky published by Penguin as being one of the best available.

I think my copy is Constance Garnett, so bloody old.

Juliaparker25 Tue 04-Feb-14 13:23:51

Latin Course for Schools Part1

HelloBoys Tue 04-Feb-14 13:26:35

A lot of Suzanne Dunn's books when she tried to do historical lit - she should have really have stuck to her friends/lives books (Blood Sugar etc) rather than harp on about Katherine Howard. All of the supposed thinkings are really getting my goat.

Bidisha - someone lent me her book and it was tripe. I also didn't like Gone Girl as I could see the end coming a mile off and it was contrived shit.

HelloBoys Tue 04-Feb-14 13:28:15

SelectUser and LindaMcCartney - I was the same with The Red Tent didn't feel anything very forgettable.

DangerRabbit Tue 04-Feb-14 13:49:06

The Beach was a book that really made me want to give the author a slap. Best read in conjunction with the hilarious Are You Experienced.

Other books I have disliked include the first twilight book (and only one I have read) - where basically nothing happens in the first 100 pages except bella wonders if she should allow the vampire to bite her or not - which had me shouting shit or get off the pot.

Then there was Lord of the rings (read half of it when I was 14, my friend kept telling me to keep on reading and it'll get interesting - it never did.

I also second (third? Fourth) the new york trilogy - pretentious twaddle.

maniacbug Tue 04-Feb-14 14:05:44

HenriettaMaria (got your name right this time!) I read the old Penguin one (by Rosemary Edmonds) and more recently the Zinovieff/Hughes translation for OneWorld, but the Pevear/Volokhonsky does generally seem to get a lot of praise. Personally am looking forward to the Ros Bartlett translation, as I heard her give a talk on it last year and she is using the 1970s version of the Russian original, apparently the most unadulterated, which has only been used once before - and not by Z/H or P/V. In case you're interested in other Russian classics, there is a new translation of Crime and Punishment (by Oliver Ready) coming out in May, which should be worth looking out for....
(sorry for thread hijack OP!)

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 04-Feb-14 14:15:44

THe Slap
Gone Girl

Utter tripe, both of them. Didn't even finish Gone Girl, it was sooo bad.

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Feb-14 14:38:09

Also struggled through The Woman Who Went To Bed... and Harold Fry, and wished I hadn't. Really shouldn't believe the hype.

Possession I also struggled through, and I did like it, but I had to skip all the poetry <philistine>

I nearly gave up on LotR because of Tom Bombadil, but was glad I persevered.

I came close to reading Hundred Years of Solitude last month - I borrowed it from the library, but didn't open it. Won't bother now!

But I'm appalled that fivefourtime has cited Terry Pratchett!

KatoPotato Tue 04-Feb-14 14:45:42

DMum and I have an 'awful book club' We challenge each other to make it through truly terrible books.

Recently she made me endure 'Foursome' by Jane Fallon.

Never ever put yourself through it!

HenriettaMaria Tue 04-Feb-14 15:00:41

maniac That is really interesting. The Ros Bartlett won't be available until August so I will have to rejig my reading order if I'm going to read that one - AK is my translation choice for a Goodreads group challenge for this year <outs self> but that isn't insurmountable.

There has been a copy of Crime and Punishment (again, Pevear / Volokhonsky) sitting, accusingly, on my bookshelf for a while now. I keep meaning to read it; it is one of my dad's favourite novels and he was always telling me that I should read it.

I don't know what my resistance to reading certain classics is all about but it definitely exists. Another of my dad's recommendations was Bleak House and I didn't get round to that until I was 32. And I loved it - I should have learned from that experience. blush

Anyway, thank you for all the information. I am really grateful; anything that will help me finally crack AK is to be welcomed. grin

AnnaLegovah Tue 04-Feb-14 15:16:42

A recent-ish book that stands out in my mind is Mrs Fry's Diary. I got it as a xmas gift from my mum, who thought it was actually written by Stephen Fry. It's not - it's written by some Twitter blogger who is apparently hilarious. Although there is a 'rumour' it is Stephen Fry and if so, he's gone down massively in my estimation. I havn't read anything this bad in a long time. I just didn't find it funny, at all.

But then I don't do twitter and this was partly written in the form of tweets.

somewherewest Tue 04-Feb-14 15:45:51

I'm too lazy to plough all the way through, but anything by Ian McEwan that isn't Atonement leaves me totally cold. I just don't give a shit about any of his characters.

cuntingrimmer08 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:17:19

Lord of the rings

Scarletohello Tue 04-Feb-14 16:30:37

Fractured by Dani Atkins. Just don't bother. It was so sad and then really hopeful and then it was all a dream as she was in a coma and then she dies! It was really distressing. Don't put yourself through it.

Scarletohello Tue 04-Feb-14 16:35:11

Also The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell. Had heard great things about this author but it was unrelentingly depressing and the Detective slips into Alzheimer's at the end! Put me off reading any of his previous novels...

Yes2014 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:41:50

Another one for the Slap, I only managed to paragraph 3.
I used to love Jonothan Coe but was soo disappointed in The Closed Circle, and found The Rotter's club annoying at the end.
Worst ending ever: The little Friend by Donna Tartt. And the snakes in that we're annoying too.
I was sort of glad that I persevered with her Fearful Symmetry as I liked the OCD character but aargh how I hated The Time Traveller's wife when his foot fell off

wetaugust Tue 04-Feb-14 16:49:25

To Kill A Mockingbird.

I was really looking forward to reading it, however I had to force myself to finish it.

It was absolutely dire. I can't understand why people think it's such a wonderful book. The actions of the father in defending the accused is obviously very noble but the writing style etc of the book left me bored rigid.

Film was good.

flippinada Tue 04-Feb-14 16:57:22

I've remembered another one; by Isla Dewar. Can't remember the title but it's about a woman who leaves her young family for some reason I don't recall.

Not a single sympathetic character in the book. All thoroughly selfish and obnoxious. I think you're supposed to feel sorry for the (now grown up) children but they are so unpleasant you don't blame the character for leaving them. And the ending is shite too.

Actually I lied, there is one likeable character in the book - she's dead though.

I loved Madam Bovary.

Couldn't make head nor tail of The Time Traveller's Wife.

Also have tried to read Behind the Scenes at the Museum but gave up because couldn't stop confusing the characters.

Hated The Return by that Hislop woman -so many holes/inconsistencies & frustrations, made Labyrinth look like literature.

flippinada Tue 04-Feb-14 17:03:14

The title is "Two Kinds of Wonderful". I should add that I've really enjoyed the author's other books, which is probably why I dislike this one so much - she can do so much better!

OneEggIsAnOeff Tue 04-Feb-14 17:32:25

The only book i've never been able to finish is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Does anyone (apart from the person who gave it to me) like it?

Am also not a fan of posh people navel gazing type books - thinking of The Cazalets, Mary Wesley type stuff. Urrgh.

I loved Clan of the Cave Bear but have only managed to read some of the sequels out of a sense of loyalty rather than for any pleasure - basically the author trying to show off how much she knows about archaeology mixed in with a bit of caveman porn.

IdaBlankenship Tue 04-Feb-14 18:28:51

Oh god, The Cazalets - that is the one that was serialised for what seemed like years on Women's Hour. Dull in the extreme.
I second whoever said Hotel du Lac, literally nothing happens, thankfully it was a short book.
I have to defend Tess of the D'Urbervilles though - I love the book and have read it multiple times. I will concede that it is a wee bit depressing, but I like a little weep at the end.

Greydog Tue 04-Feb-14 19:13:37

I had forgotten the Cazalets! It was the most dreadful, turgid stuff, and I was so looking forward to reading them. I did plough my way through all of them - just in case they improved! Thank goodness for speed reading!

PleaseNoScar Tue 04-Feb-14 19:56:08

Possession by AS Byatt. Dull, affected nonsense which tragically stole the Booker from John macGahern's brilliant Amongst Women.

Ragusa Tue 04-Feb-14 20:01:38

Is The Children's Book by AS Byatt, too? I thought it was terrible! Hateful characters and a plot of epic dullness .

squoosh Tue 04-Feb-14 20:08:02

Oh I loved Possession.

Was enraged by the film adaptation though.

surgicalwidow Tue 04-Feb-14 20:26:59

The Slap! Such a pile of rubbish smile

The bloody Lovely Bones. Sounded superb in the blurb - absolute tripe.

Scarletohello Tue 04-Feb-14 20:41:43

Oh dear, quite enjoyed these...

The Slap
Gone Girl

But, each to their own I guess...

choirmum Tue 04-Feb-14 20:46:07

Wolf Hall - love that period of history but bored rigid by the book! Must confess to enjoying all the Kate Mosse books - sorry!

okthen Tue 04-Feb-14 20:49:52

The Notebook. Bilge!